Neurobiology of violence in children and adolescents

Nataša Šimić


This paper gives a brief insight into the basic concepts of biological theories of personality with the purpose of understanding the personality profile of risk for antisocial behaviour in children and adolescents. The interest for the biological processes underlying the different personality traits and psychopathology in children and adolescents has increased in recent years. Therefore, the aim of this review is to summarize the results of the previous studies on the role of the personality and following neurobiological systems: testosterone, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal gland axis, autonomic nervous system and monoamine neurotransmitters in violent behaviour in children and adolescents. The effect of interaction of different biological and psychosocial factors, possible interpretations, as well as directions for further investigations are also pointed out.

Conclusion – Biological processes play a key role in the genesis of violent behaviour. However, further research should also take into consideration the complexity of their interactive relationship and the impact of various adverse environmental factors.


Antisocial behaviour; Testosterone; Cortisol; Autonomic nervous system; Monoamines

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