Genetic moderation of stability in attachment security from early childhood to age 18 years: A replication study

K. Lee Raby, Glenn I. Roisman, Cathryn Booth-LaForce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

A longstanding question for attachment theory and research is whether genetically based characteristics of the child influence the development of attachment security and its stability over time. This study attempted to replicate and extend recent findings indicating that the developmental stability of attachment security is moderated by oxytocin receptor (OXTR) genetic variants. Using longitudinal data from over 550 individuals, there was no evidence that OXTR rs53576 moderated the association between attachment security during early childhood and overall coherence of mind ("security") during the Adult Attachment Interview at age 18 years. Additional analyses involving a second commonly investigated OXTR variant (rs2254298) and indices of individuals' dismissing and preoccupied attachment states of mind also failed to provide robust evidence for oxytonergic moderation of the stability in attachment security across development. The discussion focuses on research strategies for investigating genetic contributions to attachment security across the life span.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1645-1649
Number of pages5
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume51
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Psychological Association.

Copyright:
Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Candidate genes
  • Oxytocin
  • Replication
  • Stability and change

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