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Title: Genetics of Wellbeing and Its Components Satisfaction with Life, Happiness, and Quality of Life: A Review and Meta-analysis of Heritability Studies
Author(s): M. Bartels
Journal: Behavior Genetics
Year: 2015
Month: March
Day: 10
Volume: 45
Issue: 2
Pages: 137-156
DOI: 10.1007/s10519-015-9713-y
File URL: http://www.tweelingenregister.org/nederlands/verslaggeving/NTR-publicaties_2015/Bartels_BG_2015.pdf
Keywords: Wellbeing; Satisfaction with life; Happiness; Twin; Heritability; Review; Meta-analysis; Genetics; Genes
Abstract: Wellbeing is a major topic of research across several disciplines, reflecting the increasing recognition of its strong value across major domains in life. Previous twin-family studies have revealed that individual differences in wellbeing are accounted for by both genetic as well as environmental factors. A systematic literature search identified 30 twin-family studies on wellbeing or a related measure such as satisfaction with life or happiness. Review of these studies showed considerable variation in heritability estimates (ranging from 0 to 64 %), which makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions regarding the genetic influences on wellbeing. For overall wellbeing twelve heritability estimates, from 10 independent studies, were meta-analyzed by computing a sample size weighted average heritability. Ten heritability estimates, derived from 9 independent samples, were used for the meta-analysis of satisfaction with life. The weighted average heritability of wellbeing, based on a sample size of 55,974 individuals, was 36 % (34–38), while the weighted average heritability for satisfaction with life was 32 % (29–35) (n = 47,750). With this result a more robust estimate of the relative influence of genetic effects on wellbeing is provided.

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