Article

Maternal oxytocin response during mother-infant interaction: associations with adult temperament.

Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Hormones and Behavior (Impact Factor: 4.51). 01/2012; 61(3):429-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2012.01.014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Oxytocin is a neuropeptide associated with social affiliation and maternal caregiving. However, its effects appear to be moderated by various contextual factors and stable individual characteristics. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of self-reported state and trait measures (such as temperament, mood and affect) with peripheral oxytocin response in mothers. Fifty-five first-time mothers participated in a semi-structured procedure, during which time repeated peripheral oxytocin levels were measured before, during and after an episode of mother-infant interaction. The maternal oxytocin response was then calculated, based on the difference in oxytocin concentration between initial baseline and interaction phase. Mothers also completed state measures of positive and negative affect and depression, and trait measures of temperament, personality disturbance and depression across time. Regression analyses determined which factors were independently associated with maternal oxytocin response. The trait measure of adult temperament emerged as a significant predictor of oxytocin response. Two out of four Adult Temperament Questionnaire factor scales were independently associated with oxytocin response: Effortful Control was negatively associated, whereas Orienting Sensitivity was positively associated. No state measure significantly predicted oxytocin response. The results indicate that mothers who show an increased oxytocin response when interacting with their infants are more sensitive of moods, emotions and physical sensations; and less compulsive, schedule driven and task oriented. These findings link differences in individual temperament in new mothers with the peripheral oxytocin response, which may have implications in the pharmacologic treatment of disorders such as maternal neglect, post-partum depression and maternal addiction. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin, Vasopressin, and Social Behavior.

1 Bookmark
 · 
238 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we aimed to assess cross-sectionally and longitudinally associations between disturbances in maternal early attachment experiences, symptoms of separation anxiety and depression and oxytocin plasma levels. We examined a mediational model that tested the hypothesis that anxious attachment style arising from the mothers' early bonding experiences with her own parents was associated with high levels of separation anxiety which, via its impact on depression, was associated with reduced levels of oxytocin in the postnatal period. Data is reported on a structured sample of 127 women recruited during pregnancy from a general hospital antenatal clinic and an initial follow up cohort of 57 women who were re-assessed at 3-months post-partum. We found an association between lower oxytocin level in the post partum period and symptoms of separation anxiety and depression during pregnancy, as well as maternal negative interpersonal representations, upbringing attributes and anxious attachment style. Further meditational analysis revealed that the unique association between anxious attachment and depression is mediated by separation anxiety and that depressed mood mediated the relationship between separation anxiety and oxytocin. In conjunction with evidence from the literature suggesting that lower oxytocin level is associated with bonding difficulties, our findings have significant implications for understanding the biological processes underpinning adverse attachment experiences, negative affect state, and mother-to-infant bonding difficulties.
    PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e107745. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The neuropeptides oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) are involved in social bonding in attachment relationships, but their role in friendship is poorly understood. We investigated whether rhesus macaques' (Macaca mulatta) friendships at age one predicted plasma OT and AVP at two later time points. Subjects were 54 rhesus macaques at the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC). Blood was drawn during a brief capture-and-release in the home cage, and plasma assayed for OT and AVP using an enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Separate linear mixed models for each sex tested the effects of dominance rank, age, sampling time point, housing condition, parturition status, two blood draw timing measures, and five friendship types: proximity friendships, play friendships, reciprocal friendships (a preference for a peer that also preferred the subject), multiplex friendships (friendships displayed in more than one behavioral domain), and total number of friendships. Females' number of reciprocal and play friendships at age one significantly predicted later OT; additionally, these two friendship types interacted with rank, such that high-ranking females with the fewest friendships had the highest OT concentrations. Friendship did not predict later OT levels in males, however proximity, play, reciprocal, and total number of friendships predicted males' plasma AVP. Play and total number of friendships also tended to predict AVP in females. Our results show that peripheral measures of neuroendocrine functioning in juvenile rhesus monkeys are influenced by early involvement in friendships. Friendships have an especially strong impact on an individual's psychosocial development, and our data suggest OT and AVP as potential underlying mechanisms. Moreover, sex differences in the functioning of the OT and AVP systems, and their relation to friendship, may have important clinical implications for the use of OT as a therapeutic, as well as informing the social context in which it is administered.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 08/2014; 8:295. · 4.16 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Social dysfunction is common in patients with psychotic disorders. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide with a central role in social behavior. This study aims to explore the relationship between oxytocin pathway genes and symptoms related to social dysfunction in patients with psychotic disorders. We performed association analyses between four oxytocin pathway genes (OXT, OXTR, AVP, and CD38) and four areas of social behavior-related psychopathology as measured by Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. For this purpose, we used both a polygenic risk score (PGRS) and single OXTR candidate single nucleotide polymorphism previously reported in the literature (rs53576, rs237902, and rs2254298). A total of 734 subjects with DSM-IV psychotic spectrum disorders and 420 healthy controls were included. Oxytocin pathway PGRSs were calculated based on the independent Psychiatric Genomics Consortium study sample. There was a significant association between symptom of Emotional Withdrawal and the previously reported OXTR risk allele A in rs53576. No significant associations between oxytocin pathway gene variants and a diagnosis of psychotic disorder were found. Our findings indicate that while oxytocin pathway genes do not appear to contribute to the susceptibility to psychotic disorders, variations in the OXTR gene might play a role in the development of impaired social behavior.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 01/2015; 9:9. · 2.90 Impact Factor

Full-text

Download
52 Downloads
Available from
May 16, 2014