Objective: Variation in the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) has been associated with antisocial behavior in populations with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study examined whether COMT would predict antisocial behavior in a sample with high levels of behavior problems, not necessarily ADHD. In addition, because previous research suggests that COMT may be associated with ADHD in males, association between COMT and ADHD symptoms was examined.
Method: This study tested whether variation in three polymorphisms of the COMT gene was predictive of symptoms of conduct disorder and ADHD, in a sample of 174 incarcerated Russian adolescent male delinquents.
Results: The Val allele of the Val158Met polymorphism was significantly associated with conduct disorder diagnosis and symptoms, whereas the Met allele was associated with ADHD symptoms.
Conclusion: The Val158Met polymorphism of the COMT gene shows a complex relation to behavior problems, influencing conduct disorder and ADHD symptoms in opposite directions in a high-risk population.
aDepartment of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minnesota
bSchool of Public Health, Harvard University, Massachusetts
cChild Study Center
dDepartment of Psychology, Yale University
eDepartment of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut
fDepartment of Psychology, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
gCenter for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, University of Tromsø, Norway
hInstitute of Psychology and Psychiatry, Northern State Medical University
iDepartment of Psychology, Moscow State University, Russia
jDepartment of Psychology, Stockholm University
kCentre for Health Equity Studies, Karolinska Institute
lDepartment of Neuroscience, Uppsala University
mCentre for Violence Prevention, Karolinska Institute and Skonviks Psychiatric Clinic, Sweden
Correspondence to Elena L. Grigorenko, PhD, Child Study Center, Yale University, 230 South Frontage Road, New Haven, CT 06519, USA
Tel: +203 737 2316; fax: +203 785 3002; e-mail: email@example.com
Received 12 June 2008 Revised 25 August 2009 Accepted 13 September 2009