Dopaminergic, serotonergic, and oxytonergic candidate genes associated with infant attachment security and disorganization? in search of main and interaction effects

Maartje P C M Luijk, Glenn I. Roisman, John D. Haltigan, Henning Tiemeier, Cathryn Booth-Laforce, Marinus H. Van Ijzendoorn, Jay Belsky, Andre G. Uitterlinden, Vincent W V Jaddoe, Albert Hofman, Frank C. Verhulst, Anne Tharner, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background and methods: In two birth cohort studies with genetic, sensitive parenting, and attachment data of more than 1,000 infants in total, we tested main and interaction effects of candidate genes involved in the dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin systems (DRD4, DRD2, COMT, 5-HTT, OXTR) on attachment security and disorganization. Parenting was assessed using observational rating scales for parental sensitivity (Ainsworth, Bell, & Stayton, 1974), and infant attachment was assessed with the Strange Situation Procedure. Results: We found no consistent additive genetic associations for attachment security and attachment disorganization. However, specific tests revealed evidence for a codominant risk model for COMT Val158Met, consistent across both samples. Children with the Val/Met genotype showed higher disorganization scores (combined effect size d =.22, CI =.10-.34, p <.001). Gene-by-environment interaction effects were not replicable across the two samples. Conclusions: This unexpected finding might be explained by a broader range of plasticity in heterozygotes, which may increase susceptibility to environmental influences or to dysregulation of emotional arousal. This study is unique in combining the two largest attachment cohorts with molecular genetic and observed rearing environment data to date.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1295-1307
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Volume52
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

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Parenting
Gene-Environment Interaction
Oxytocin
Heterozygote
Arousal
Genes
Molecular Biology
Dopamine
Serotonin
Cohort Studies
Genotype
Parturition

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • G × E
  • Strange Situation Procedure
  • candidate genes
  • parenting
  • sensitivity

Cite this

Dopaminergic, serotonergic, and oxytonergic candidate genes associated with infant attachment security and disorganization? in search of main and interaction effects. / Luijk, Maartje P C M; Roisman, Glenn I.; Haltigan, John D.; Tiemeier, Henning; Booth-Laforce, Cathryn; Van Ijzendoorn, Marinus H.; Belsky, Jay; Uitterlinden, Andre G.; Jaddoe, Vincent W V; Hofman, Albert; Verhulst, Frank C.; Tharner, Anne; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J.

In: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, Vol. 52, No. 12, 01.12.2011, p. 1295-1307.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Luijk, MPCM, Roisman, GI, Haltigan, JD, Tiemeier, H, Booth-Laforce, C, Van Ijzendoorn, MH, Belsky, J, Uitterlinden, AG, Jaddoe, VWV, Hofman, A, Verhulst, FC, Tharner, A & Bakermans-Kranenburg, MJ 2011, 'Dopaminergic, serotonergic, and oxytonergic candidate genes associated with infant attachment security and disorganization? in search of main and interaction effects', Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, vol. 52, no. 12, pp. 1295-1307. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02440.x
Luijk, Maartje P C M ; Roisman, Glenn I. ; Haltigan, John D. ; Tiemeier, Henning ; Booth-Laforce, Cathryn ; Van Ijzendoorn, Marinus H. ; Belsky, Jay ; Uitterlinden, Andre G. ; Jaddoe, Vincent W V ; Hofman, Albert ; Verhulst, Frank C. ; Tharner, Anne ; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J. / Dopaminergic, serotonergic, and oxytonergic candidate genes associated with infant attachment security and disorganization? in search of main and interaction effects. In: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines. 2011 ; Vol. 52, No. 12. pp. 1295-1307.
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