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Serotonergic function in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: Relationship to later antisocial personality disorder

  • Janine D. Flory (a1), Jeffrey H. Newcorn (a2), Carlin Miller (a1), Seth Harty (a1) and Jeffrey M. Halperin (a3)...

Abstract

Background

Impulsive aggression in adulthood is associated with disturbances in serotonergic function. In contrast, research examining this association in childhood has yielded inconsistent results.

Aims

The current study examined the prospective relationship between serotonergic function measured in childhood and the later emergence of antisocial personality disorder.

Method

Hormonal response to fenfluramine, an index of serotonergic function, was assessed in 58 children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder between 1990 and 1997 when they were aged 7–11 years. Approximately 9 years later these individuals were evaluated for antisocial personality disorder.

Results

Lower serotonergic responsivity assessed in childhood predicted the development of antisocial personality disorder (t (56)=2.25, P=0.028).

Conclusions

These results provide a critical link between the child and adult literature on the covariation of impulsive aggression and serotonergic function and suggest a potential explanation for inconsistencies in the childhood literature.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Janine D. Flory, Department of Psychology, Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY), 65–30 Kissena Boulevard, SB–318 Flushing, NY 11367, USA. Email: janine.flory@qc.cuny.edu

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes

References

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Serotonergic function in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: Relationship to later antisocial personality disorder

  • Janine D. Flory (a1), Jeffrey H. Newcorn (a2), Carlin Miller (a1), Seth Harty (a1) and Jeffrey M. Halperin (a3)...

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Serotonergic function in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: Relationship to later antisocial personality disorder

  • Janine D. Flory (a1), Jeffrey H. Newcorn (a2), Carlin Miller (a1), Seth Harty (a1) and Jeffrey M. Halperin (a3)...
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