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  Epigenetic modification of the oxytocin and glucocorticoid receptor genes is linked to attachment avoidance in young adults

Ein-Dor, T., Verbeke, W. J. M. I., Mokry, M., & Vrticka, P. (2018). Epigenetic modification of the oxytocin and glucocorticoid receptor genes is linked to attachment avoidance in young adults. Attachment & Human Development, 20(4), 439-454. doi:10.1080/14616734.2018.1446451.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-FB8A-7 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-FB8B-6
Genre: Journal Article

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Ein-Dor_Verbeke_2017.pdf (Publisher version), 2MB
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 Creators:
Ein-Dor, Tsachi1, Author
Verbeke, Willem J. M. I.2, Author
Mokry, Michal3, Author
Vrticka, Pascal4, Author              
Affiliations:
1School of Psychology, Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Business Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Pediatrics, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              
4Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634552              

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Free keywords: Proximity seeking under stress; OXTR; NR3C1; Epigenetics; Attachment
 Abstract: Attachment in the context of intimate pair bonds is most frequently studied in terms of the universal strategy to draw near, or away, from significant others at moments of personal distress. However, important interindividual differences in the quality of attachment exist, usually captured through secure versus insecure – anxious and/or avoidant – attachment orientations. Since Bowlby’s pioneering writings on the theory of attachment, it has been assumed that attachment orientations are influenced by both genetic and social factors – what we would today describe and measure as gene by environment interaction mediated by epigenetic DNA modification – but research in humans on this topic remains extremely limited. We for the first time examined relations between intra-individual differences in attachment and epigenetic modification of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) and glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) gene promoter in 109 young adult human participants. Our results revealed that attachment avoidance was significantly and specifically associated with increased OXTR and NR3C1 promoter methylation. These findings offer first tentative clues on the possible etiology of attachment avoidance in humans by showing epigenetic modification in genes related to both social stress regulation and HPA axis functioning.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2017-12-052018-02-252018-03-072018-08
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1080/14616734.2018.1446451
PMID: 29513137
Other: Epub 2018
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Funding organization : Erasmus University Rotterdam
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Funding organization : Max Planck Society

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Title: Attachment & Human Development
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Taylor & Francis
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 20 (4) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 439 - 454 Identifier: ISSN: 1461-6734
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1461-6734