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"Write something worth reading or do something worth writing" A blog by Amy Willis, a multimedia journalist based in London

Genetic Link to anti-social behaviour

ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour could be genetic, researchers at Cardiff University have found.

The study, initially intended to see if there was a link between prenatal smoking and anti-social behaviour, looked at 779 children born by IVF treatment. The scientists only found a link when the IVF treatment used the mother’s own eggs- suggesting the factor could be genetic.

Professor Anita Thapar, a clinical child psychiatrist and principal investigator in the study, said: “Cigarette smoke in pregnancy does lower birth weight regardless of whether the mother and child are genetically related or not, but the link with child behaviour is different.

“It is now clear that offspring anti-social behaviour is more dependent on inherited factors passed from mother to child, as our group of children with mothers who smoked during pregnancy with no genetic link showed no increased signs of anti-social behaviour.

“This suggests other influencing factor such as the mother’s personality traits and other inherited characteristics are at play during the development of a baby.”

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Filed under: Cardiff News, Portfolio

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