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In search of positive mental health: Personality profiles and genetic polymorphisms.

Authors
  • Nestor, Paul G1, 2
  • Hasler, Victoria Choate1
  • O'Donovan, Keira1
  • Lapp, Hannah E1
  • Boodai, Sara B1
  • Hunter, Richard1, 3
  • 1 Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • 2 Laboratory of Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • 3 Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Stress and health : journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2021
Volume
37
Issue
2
Pages
310–319
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/smi.2996
PMID: 33049110
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Individuals vary greatly in their mental health and these differences may play a critical role in stress resistance, risk reduction and illness recovery. Here we ask how these differences may be related to normal variation in personality and genotype. One hundred healthy college students completed measures of mental health (Mental Health Continuum-Short Form [MHC-SF]), personality (NEO Five Factor Inventory) and adverse childhood experiences. Participants also provided saliva samples, genotyped for both the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) and the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), each assayed for naturally occurring polymorphisms, 5-HTTLPR (short/long) and BDNF (valine/methionine). Mental health correlated strongly with the NEO triad of conscientiousness-extraversion-neuroticism, with largest contributions to MHC-SF scores for conscientiousness, followed by extraversion and then neuroticism. The personality trait interaction of extraversion × conscientiousness uniquely accounted for approximately 44.22% 44.62% of the variance in MHC-SF scores. Polygenic comparisons showed a significant gene × gene interaction, with highest mental health for 5-HTTLPR-S, Met carriers. Together these results provided support for distinct yet interacting roles of personality and genetics in the phenotypical expression of mental health. © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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