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Epigenetic Changes Being Linked to Violent Tendencies in Children

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Published on : Jun 13, 2017

According to a new study, there is a direct relation between the consumption of cigarettes and alcohol by pregnant women and the violent behavior shown by their offspring. As stated in the study, the exposure to the chemicals in cigarettes and alcohol as well as stressful events can cause epigenetic modifications in a child. These are external changes to a human DNA that can activate or deactivate specific genes.

London Researchers on a Genetic Study to Identify Cause of Violence Among Children

The team of researchers from the University of Bristol and King’s College have shown these epigenetic changes to be present in children at birth and can be linked to the disorderly conduct among children. Ignoring one off cases, the spectrum of conduct problems included in this research include stealing, lying, and fighting. These forms of misconduct are being used as common reference markers within the U.K. demographics. Dr. Edward Barker, a senior author in the study, stated that the kids with early-onset problems in behavior are far more likely to initiate antisocial behavior when they grow up. He added that the study is important to observe the group from a societal perspective.

Early-onset conduct problems, identified as problems in conduct among children below 10 years of age, show a much higher risk of portraying chronic and even severe levels of antisocial behavior throughout their lives, and their behavior can be rooted in the embryo’s exposure to the harmful chemicals in cigarettes and alcohol. Genetic factors are known to be strong factors of influence in the conduct problems of children as well as adults, and can be used to explain between 50 to 80 percent of the dissimilarities between children who develop CP and the ones who do not.

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