Oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) is related to psychological resources

Shimon Saphire-Bernstein, Baldwin M. Way, Heejung S. Kim, David K. Sherman, Shelley E. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Scopus citations


Psychological resources-optimism, mastery, and self-esteem-bufferthe deleterious effects of stress and are predictors of neurophysiological and psychological health-related outcomes. These resources have been shown to be highly heritable, yet the genetic basis for this heritability remains unknown. Here, we report a link between the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) SNP rs53576 and psychological resources, such that carriers of the "A" allele have lower levels of optimism, mastery, and self-esteem, relative to G/G homozygotes. OXTR was also associated with depressive symptomatology. Mediation analysis indicates that the effects of OXTR on depressive symptoms may be largelymediated by the influence of OXTRon psychological resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15118-15122
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number37
StatePublished - 13 Sep 2011


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