No association between the COMT polymorphism and Beck youth inventories scores in a Chinese cohort

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Chang, C. Y.
Yeh, T. K.
Hu, C.Y.
Chung, F. T.
Hsiao, C. H.

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The COMT 158Met allele may be advantageous for PFC-related cognitive abilities; however, it is also associated with increased emotional vulnerability in response to stress or educational adversity. Previously, we found that students who were homozygous for the Met allele tended to perform more poorly in all components of the Taiwanese Basic Competency Test, a national standardized test that measures educational achievement, than students who were homozygous or heterozygous for the Val allele. We speculated that affective factors might overwhelm cognitive abilities in high-stake tests. In this study, we present our preliminary attempts to explore the association between COMT polymorphism and emotion of students. Totally, 703 Taiwanese tenth-grade volunteers were recruited. Scores from the Beck youth inventories were used to evaluate students’ self-concept, anxiety, depression, delinquency, and anger. The three genotype groups did not show any significant differences with respect to all subscales in BYI. However, COMT 158Met/Met homozygous students showed a trend towards better performance in all subscales of the BYI. These findings provide evidence that COMT polymorphism might not be a major determinant of students’ affect behaviors of BYI as previously thought.