7q11.23 duplication syndrome (Dup7) is a genetic disorder with a variable phenotype associated with cognitive and behavioral characteristics including a high incidence of expressive language difficulties, social anxiety, and oppositional or disruptive behavior. Correlates of aggression and oppositionality were examined.
Participants were 63 children with genetically confirmed Dup7 between the ages of 4 and 17 years. A multimethod, multi-informant approach was used to assess aggression and oppositional behavior, and the contributions of cognitive functioning, expressive language, autism spectrum, social anxiety, and hyperactivity/impulsivity (H/I) symptomatology were considered.
Elevated levels of aggression and oppositional behavior were found. Cognitive functioning, expressive language, and autism spectrum disorder symptomatology were not significantly related to parent ratings of aggression, although young children who had language and nonverbal cognitive delays were most likely to demonstrate examiner-observed aggression. Social anxiety and H/I symptomatology were related to defiant/aggressive and oppositional behavior.
Genes in the 7q11.23 region duplicated in Dup7, in transaction with the environment, may contribute to aggressive and oppositional behavior.