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. 2017 May;214:115-121.
doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.03.005. Epub 2017 Mar 7.

The Association Between Well-Being and the COMT Gene: Dispositional Gratitude and Forgiveness as Mediators

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The Association Between Well-Being and the COMT Gene: Dispositional Gratitude and Forgiveness as Mediators

Jinting Liu et al. J Affect Disord. .

Abstract

Backround: Previous studies have demonstrated the contributions of genetic variants and positive psychological traits (e.g. gratitude and forgiveness) to well-being. However, little is known about how genes interact with positive traits to affect well-being.

Methods: To investigate to what extent the COMT Val158Met polymorphism modulates well-being and to what extent dispositional gratitude and forgiveness mediate the individual differences in well-being, 445 participants were recruited and required to complete a battery of questionnaires.

Results: We found that individuals with a smaller number of the Met alleles reported greater well-being, less depressive symptoms, and greater tendencies for gratitude and forgiveness. Moreover, dispositional gratitude and forgiveness mediated the genotype effects on well-being and depressive symptoms. These results remained significant after controlling for non-genetic factors (socioeconomic status, religious beliefs, romantic relationship status, parenting style).

Limitation: The sample size limits the generalizability of results.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates the contribution of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism to individual differences in well-being and suggests a potential psychobiological pathway from dopaminergic and noradrenergic systems to happiness.

Keywords: COMT; Depression; Forgiveness; Gratitude; Well-being.

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