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21-09-2018 | Empirical Research

The Catechol-O-Methyltransferase and Dopamine Transporter Genes Moderated the Impact of Peer Relationships on Adolescent Depressive Symptoms: A Gene–Gene–Environment Study

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Auteurs:
Yanmiao Cao, Xiaonan Lin, Liang Chen, Linqin Ji, Wenxin Zhang

Abstract

Behavioral genetics studies and new empirical evidence suggest that depression cannot simply be explained by the influence of single genes but that gene–gene–environment interactions are important to better understanding the etiology of depression. The present study investigated the main and interactive effects of COMT gene Val158Met polymorphism, DAT1 gene rs27072 polymorphism, and peer relationships (i.e., peer acceptance and rejection) on adolescent depressive symptoms. In a sample of 1045 Chinese Han adolescents (Mage = 12.34 ± 0.47 years, 50.1% girls), saliva samples, self-reported depressive symptoms and within-classroom peer nominations were collected. After controlling for gender, age, and SES, the three-way interaction of COMT, DAT1, and peer acceptance significantly concurrently predicted adolescent depressive symptoms. Adolescents with ValVal genotype of COMT and CC genotype of DAT1 were more sensitive to acceptance, compared to their counterparts carrying other combined genotypes. However, a similar three-way interaction was not significant in the case of peer rejection. Additionally, the split-half validation generally replicated these findings. More importantly, this study underscores complex polygenic underpinnings of depression and lends support for the gene–gene–environment interactions implicated in the etiology of depressive symptoms.

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