Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 95–101

Serotonin and aggression in children


  • Effie M. Mitsis
    • Department of PsychologyQueens College
  • Jeffrey M. Halperin
    • Department of PsychologyQueens College
    • Department of PsychiatryMount Sinai School of Medicine
  • Jeffrey H. Newcorn
    • Department of PsychiatryMount Sinai School of Medicine

DOI: 10.1007/s11920-000-0052-0

Cite this article as:
Mitsis, E.M., Halperin, J.M. & Newcorn, J.H. Curr Psychiatry Rep (2000) 2: 95. doi:10.1007/s11920-000-0052-0


Research consistently indicates that in animals and adults, reduced central serotonergic (5-HT) function is associated with increased aggression. This relationship has been elucidated via cerebrospinal fluid monoamine metabolite levels, hormonal responses to pharmacologic challenge using serotonergic probes, platelet receptor binding studies, and, more recently, through molecular genetic approaches. In contrast, studies examining the relationship of 5-HT to aggression in children have been characterized by inconsistent findings. The literature examining the relationship between central 5-HT function and aggression is reviewed. Several hypotheses that might account for the discrepancies in the child literature are examined.

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© Current Science Inc 2000