Further evidence of the limited role of candidate genes in relation to infant-mother attachment outcomes.Attach Hum Dev. 2017 Feb; 19(1):76-105.AH
In this paper, we examine the associations between specific candidate genes (DRD2, DRD4, COMT, biallelic and tri-allelic 5HTTLPR, and OXTR) and infant attachment outcomes as main effects and in conjunction with maternal sensitivity. The sample included 200 infants (97 European American, 94 African-American, and 9 biracial) and their mothers. Maternal sensitivity and overtly negative maternal behavior were observed when infants were 6 months and 1 year old in distress-eliciting contexts, attachment was assessed via the Strange Situation at age 1, and DNA samples were collected when children were 2 years old. Consistent with recent research in large samples, there was little evidence that these genes are associated with attachment security, disorganization, or distress as main effects (in additive, dominant, and homozygous models) or in conjunction with maternal sensitivity or overtly negative behavior (primarily dominance models). Furthermore, there was little evidence that associations vary as a function of race.