Document Type



Germanna Community College

Publication Date



Personality Disorders are characterized by chronic and pervasive maladaptive patterns which cause emotional distress to the individual, his/her relationships, and society. The purpose of analysis is to understand the causes of personality disorders. Genetic influence on personality is not a simple cause-and-effect. Several genes have been identified to be associated with personality traits but not cause personality traits. Personality disorders have been also associated with childhood trauma. Evidence in research has shown that childhood maltreatment is marked by DNA methylation of genes which promote glucocorticoid receptors in the synapses of the hippocampus and as well as serotonergic pathways. The conclusion is the combination of genes and early childhood development (Epigenetics) play a role in the development of personality disorders. After this examination, more clinical research of epigenetics and personality disorders is suggested. Research is also suggested for epigenetic inheritance and evolutionary consequences.


Julie Zaccagnino presented this paper at the 3rd Annual Student Research and Writing Symposium at Germanna Community College.

*3rd Place*

Copyright © 2017 by Julie Zaccagnino



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