Title

Oxytocin-Related Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms, Family Environment, and Psychopathic Traits

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2018

Keywords

psychopathy, oxytocin, genes, childhood emotional invalidation, empathy deficits

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1037/per0000290

Abstract

Multiple studies have linked oxytocin to social behavior and affiliation–attachment. This research would suggest that oxytocin function may relate to the absence of loving kindness and empathy in psychopathy. The current study examined the associations between 3 oxytocin-related single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), participant-reported invalidating childhood environment, and psychopathic traits in community adults, predicting that alleles associated with higher empathy in the literature would relate to lower levels of psychopathic affective traits in particular. Results showed that the rs53576 SNP on the oxytocin receptor and cumulative risk alleles across the 3 SNPs were associated with psychopathic traits, and the interaction between cumulative risk and an emotionally invalidating environment was associated especially with affective deficits of psychopathy. Although this study requires replication in larger samples, results lend support to the role of attachment-related processes in psychopathy.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, v. 9, issue 6, p. 584-589

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