The association between infants' self-regulatory behavior and MAOA gene polymorphism

Minghao Zhang, Xinyin Chen, Niobe Way, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Huihua Deng, Xiaoyan Ke, Weiwei Yu, Ping Chen, Chuan He, Xia Chi, Zuhong Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self-regulatory behavior in early childhood is an important characteristic that has considerable implications for the development of adaptive and maladaptive functioning. The present study investigated the relations between a functional polymorphism in the upstream region of monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) and self-regulatory behavior in a sample of Chinese infants at 6months of age. Self-regulation was assessed by observing infants' behavior of orienting visual attention away from a threatening event in the laboratory situation. The results indicated that regulatory behavior was associated with the functional MAOA gene polymorphism in girls, but not boys. Girls with 4/4 genotypes displayed significantly higher regulation than girls with 3/3 and 3/4 genotypes. The present study provided evidence for gender differences on the role of MAOA gene polymorphism in socioemotional functioning in the early years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1059-1065
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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