ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2015, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (10): 1260-1268.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.01260

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  1. (山东师范大学心理学院, 济南 250014)
  • 收稿日期:2015-04-30 发布日期:2015-10-25 出版日期:2015-10-25
  • 通讯作者: 张文新, E-mail:
  • 基金资助:


Interaction Effects between rs6323 Polymorphism in the MAOA Gene and Peer Relationship on Early Depression among Male Adolescents

WANG Meiping; JI Linqin; ZHANG Wenxin   

  1. (School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China)
  • Received:2015-04-30 Online:2015-10-25 Published:2015-10-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Wenxin, E-mail:


以683名男青少年为被试(初次测评时M = 13.35岁; SD = 0.51), 综合运用传统回归分析和新兴显著性区域检验, 考察了MAOA基因rs6323多态性与同伴关系对青少年早期抑郁的交互作用及其表现形式。结果表明:当同伴接纳水平较低时, G等位基因携带者的抑郁水平表现出高于T等位基因携带者的趋势, 当同伴接纳水平较高时, G型基因携带者的抑郁水平显著低于T等位基因携带者; 同伴接纳可以显著预测G等位基因携带者的抑郁, 但对T等位基因携带者的抑郁无显著预测作用; rs6323多态性与同伴拒绝的交互作用亦不显著。研究结果提示, 同伴关系对MAOA基因与男青少年早期抑郁的关联起调节作用, 且其作用形式部分支持不同易感性模型观点。

关键词: MAOA基因, rs6323多态性, 抑郁, 同伴关系, 不同易感性模型



Prior evidence suggested that MAOA gene was an potentially important candidate gene of depression, and its association with depression was mediated by environmental factors. However, most of the studies in this area have been guided by the “diathesis and stress model” and have typically focused on the interaction between MAOA gene and adverse environments, such as child maltreatment and stressful life events. Peer relationship, including peer accept and peer rejection, is among the important interpersonal relationships during early adolescence and plays a critical role in adolescent psychosocial development. However, it still remains unclear whether and how peer relationships interact with MAOA gene on adolescent depression. Additionally, previous studies examined mainly the effects of MAOA-uVNTR polymorphism on depression, and rarely focused on rs6323 polymorphism, which has been identified as a common polymorphism site among Asians. This study aimed to examine the interaction between rs6323 polymorphism and peer acceptance/rejection on early adolescent depression, with the differential susceptibility model as the theoretical frame.
The participants in this study included 683 male adolescents originally drawn from a 3-year longitudinal study (n=1323) which investigated 11 junior high schools obtained through a random cluster sampling method. During the initial assessment (in 2010), adolescents (grade 7) were on average 13.53 years old (SD=0.51). Adolescents’ depression were measured using self-rated Children’s Depression Inventory (2010: a = 0.87; 2012:a = 0.88), while peer relationship (including peer acceptance and peer rejection) were rated by peer nomination. DNA was extracted from saliva. Genotype at rs6323 was performed in real time with MassARRAY RT software version and analyzed using the MassARRAY Typer software version 3.4 (Sequenom). A series of linear regression analyses were conducted using SPSS 19.0, followed by the “region of significance” analysis to guarantee the stability of the interaction effect and determine whether the observed interaction term was better accounted for by the differential susceptibility model.
The results showed that rs6323 polymorphism significantly interacted with peer acceptance in predicting early adolescents’ depression. Specifically, male with G allele exhibited lower levels of depression when experiencing higher levels of peer acceptance (above 0.79 SD), but reported higher levels of depression when they were exposure to lower levels of peer acceptance (below 3.41 SD), relative to their counterparts with T allele. The above interaction between rs6323 polymorphism and peer rejection was not observed. The main effect of MAOA gene rs6323 polymorphism on male adolescents’ depression was not statistically significant.

In summary, the results of the present study demonstrated that the G allele in the rs6323 locus, which was regarded as the risk genotype in some previous studies, could respond more favorably to peer acceptance among male early adolescents. This finding lends partial support for the differential susceptibility model, such that plasticity allele can yield better or worse outcomes depending on the nature of environmental inputs. It, therefore, contributes to MAOA gene-depression literature by elaborating the moderating effect of peer relationships among early adolescents. Future research should consider the inclusion of clinical sample which can enlarge the variations in peer relationships, and the employment of the gene-gene-environment design to further capture the association between rs6323 polymorphism and adolescent depression.

Key words: adolescent depression, MAOA gene, rs6323 polymorphism, peer relationship, differential susceptibility model