The Influence of Nutritional Factors on Verbal Deficits and Psychopathic Personality Traits: Evidence of the Moderating Role of the MAOA Genotype




Jackson, Dylan B.
Beaver, Kevin M.

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The current study explores whether: (a) nutritional factors among adolescent males predict their risk of exhibiting verbal deficits and psychopathic traits during adulthood and (b) the link between nutritional factors and these outcomes is conditioned by the MAOA genotype. The study analyzes data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a nationally representative, genetically informative sample. We find evidence that meal deprivation increases the likelihood of both verbal deficits and psychopathic personality traits, whereas poor quality nutrition increases the risk of verbal deficits. We detect the presence of a number of gene-environment interactions between measures of food quality and MAOA genotype, but no evidence of GxE in the case of meal deprivation. Limitations are noted and avenues for future research are discussed.



malnutrition, diet, food quality, meal deprivation, genetic risk, moderating effects, MAOA, males, verbal deficits, psychopathic personality traits


International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 12 (12): 15739-15755 (2015)


Criminology and Criminal Justice