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Journal Article


Cimino S, Cerniglia L, Ballarotto G, Marzilli E, Pascale E, D'Addario C, Adriani W, Maremmani AGI, Tambelli R. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019; 16(14): e16142567.


Department of Dynamic and Clinical Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00186 Rome, Italy.


(Copyright © 2019, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)






Parental psychopathological risk is considered as one of the most crucial features associated with epigenetic modifications in offspring, which in turn are thought to be related to their emotional/behavioral profiles. The dopamine active transporter (DAT) gene is suggested to play a significant role in affective/behavioral regulation. On the basis of the previous literature, we aimed at verifying whether children's DAT1 polymorphisms moderated the relationship between parents' psychological profiles, children's emotional/behavioral functioning, and DAT1 methylation in a normative sample of 79 families with school-age children (Ntot = 237). Children's biological samples were collected through buccal swabs, while Symptom Check-List-90 item Revised, Adult Self Report, and Child Behavior Check-List/6-18 was administered to assess parental and children's psychological functioning. We found that higher maternal externalizing problems predicted the following: higher levels of children's DAT1 methylation at M1, but only among children with 10/10 genotype; higher levels of methylation at M2 among children with 10/10 genotype; while lower levels for children with a 9-repeat allele. There was also a positive relationship between fathers' externalizing problems and children's externalizing problems, only for children with a 9-repeat allele. Our findings support emerging evidence of the complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors in shaping children' emotional/behavioral functioning, contributing to the knowledge of risk variables for a child's development and psychological well-being.

Language: en


dopamine transporter; genotype; methylation; psychopathological symptoms


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