Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Scientific Reports






13443 (1-10)


Alcohol use (i.e., quantity, frequency) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are common, associated with adverse outcomes, and genetically-influenced. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified genetic loci associated with both. AUD is positively genetically associated with psychopathology, while alcohol use (e.g., drinks per week) is negatively associated or NS related to psychopathology. We wanted to test if these genetic associations extended to life satisfaction, as there is an interest in understanding the associations between psychopathology-related traits and constructs that are not just the absence of psychopathology, but positive outcomes (e.g., well-being variables). Thus, we used Genomic Structural Equation Modeling (gSEM) to analyze summary-level genomic data (i.e., effects of genetic variants on constructs of interest) from large-scale GWAS of European ancestry individuals. Results suggest that the best-fitting model is a Bifactor Model, in which unique alcohol use, unique AUD, and common alcohol factors are extracted. The genetic correlation (rg) between life satisfaction-AUD specific factor was near zero, the rg with the alcohol use specific factor was positive and significant, and the rg with the common alcohol factor was negative and significant. Findings indicate that life satisfaction shares genetic etiology with typical alcohol use and life dissatisfaction shares genetic etiology with heavy alcohol use.


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Data Availability

Article states: All data analyzed are summary-level data, most of which are publicly available to qualified investigators (e.g., The exception to this is summary-level data coming from the Million Veterans Program (MVP), which is available with a data use agreement through dbGaP.

Original Publication Citation

Bountress, K. E., Cusack, S. E., Hawn, S. E., Grotzinger, A., Bustamante, D., Kirkpatrick, R. M., Edenberg, H. J., & Amstadter, A. B. (2023). Genetic associations between alcohol phenotypes and life satisfaction: A genomic structural equation modelling approach. Scientific Reports, 13(1), 1-10, Article 13443.