The monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) gene, family function and maltreatment as predictors of destructive behaviour during male adolescent alcohol consumption

Addiction. 2007 Mar;102(3):389-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2006.01702.x.


Aim: To investigate possible interactions between a polymorphism in the monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) gene promoter, family relations and maltreatment/sexual abuse on adolescent alcohol-related problem behaviour among male adolescents.

Design, setting and participants: A cross-sectional study of a randomized sample of 66 male individuals from a total population of 16- and 19-year adolescents from a Swedish county. Boys, who volunteered to participate answering an alcohol-related problem/behaviour questionnaire, were investigated with regard to interactions between such problems, family function, maltreatment and MAO-A genotype.

Measurements: MAO-A genotype, family relations history, history of being maltreated or abused and alcohol-related problem behaviour.

Findings: Boys with the short (three-repeat) variant of the MAO-A gene, who had been maltreated/abused or came from families with poor relations, showed significantly higher scores of alcohol-related problems. We also found that maltreatment/abuse independently showed the strongest relation to alcohol-related problems among boys in our model.

Conclusions: The results suggest that both maltreatment and MAO-A genotype may be useful for the understanding of male adolescent alcohol-related problem behaviour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggression / psychology
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / genetics*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Family Relations
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / genetics*
  • Monoamine Oxidase / genetics*
  • Psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • Monoamine Oxidase