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Increase in Oxytocin From Skin-to-Skin Contact Enhances Development of Parent-Infant Relationship.
Biol Res Nurs. 2018 01; 20(1):54-62.BR

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To examine changes that occur in infant and parent salivary oxytocin (OT) and salivary cortisol (SC) levels during skin-to-skin contact (SSC) and whether SSC alleviates parental stress and anxiety while also supporting mother-father-infant relationships.

METHODS

This randomized crossover study was conducted in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with a sample of 28 stable preterm infants and their parents. Saliva samples were collected from infants, mothers, and fathers on Days 1 and 2 (1/parent) for OT and cortisol measurement pre-SSC, during a 60-min SSC session, and a 45-min post-SSC. Parental anxiety was measured at the same time points. Parent-infant interaction was examined prior to discharge on Day 3 via video for synchrony and responsiveness using Dyadic Mutuality Coding.

RESULTS

Salivary OT levels increased significantly during SSC for mothers (p < .001), fathers (p < .002), and infants (p < .002). Infant SC levels decreased significantly (p < .001) during SSC as compared to before and after SSC. Parent anxiety scores were significantly related to parent OT and SC levels. Parents with higher OT levels exhibited more synchrony and responsiveness (p < .001) in their infant interactions.

CONCLUSION

This study addresses a gap in understanding the mechanisms linking parent-infant contact to biobehavioral responses. SSC activated OT release and decreased infant SC levels. Facilitation of SSC may be an effective intervention to reduce parent and infant stress in the NICU. Findings advance the exploration of OT as a potential moderator for improving responsiveness and synchrony in parent-infant interactions.

Authors+Show Affiliations

1 School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA. 2 Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, CT, USA.1 School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA. 2 Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, CT, USA.1 School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA.3 NIDCAP Federation International, Philadelphia, PA, USA.1 School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA.2 Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, CT, USA. 4 Eastern Connecticut Health Network, Manchester, CT, USA.1 School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA.1 School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA. 5 Genetics and Genome Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Connecticut, Farmington, CT, USA. 6 Institute for Systems Genomics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA.1 School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29017336

Citation

Vittner, Dorothy, et al. "Increase in Oxytocin From Skin-to-Skin Contact Enhances Development of Parent-Infant Relationship." Biological Research for Nursing, vol. 20, no. 1, 2018, pp. 54-62.
Vittner D, McGrath J, Robinson J, et al. Increase in Oxytocin From Skin-to-Skin Contact Enhances Development of Parent-Infant Relationship. Biol Res Nurs. 2018;20(1):54-62.
Vittner, D., McGrath, J., Robinson, J., Lawhon, G., Cusson, R., Eisenfeld, L., Walsh, S., Young, E., & Cong, X. (2018). Increase in Oxytocin From Skin-to-Skin Contact Enhances Development of Parent-Infant Relationship. Biological Research for Nursing, 20(1), 54-62. https://doi.org/10.1177/1099800417735633
Vittner D, et al. Increase in Oxytocin From Skin-to-Skin Contact Enhances Development of Parent-Infant Relationship. Biol Res Nurs. 2018;20(1):54-62. PubMed PMID: 29017336.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Increase in Oxytocin From Skin-to-Skin Contact Enhances Development of Parent-Infant Relationship. AU - Vittner,Dorothy, AU - McGrath,Jacqueline, AU - Robinson,JoAnn, AU - Lawhon,Gretchen, AU - Cusson,Regina, AU - Eisenfeld,Leonard, AU - Walsh,Stephen, AU - Young,Erin, AU - Cong,Xiaomei, Y1 - 2017/10/11/ PY - 2017/10/12/pubmed PY - 2018/6/5/medline PY - 2017/10/12/entrez KW - kangaroo care KW - oxytocin KW - premature infant KW - skin-to-skin contact SP - 54 EP - 62 JF - Biological research for nursing JO - Biol Res Nurs VL - 20 IS - 1 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To examine changes that occur in infant and parent salivary oxytocin (OT) and salivary cortisol (SC) levels during skin-to-skin contact (SSC) and whether SSC alleviates parental stress and anxiety while also supporting mother-father-infant relationships. METHODS: This randomized crossover study was conducted in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with a sample of 28 stable preterm infants and their parents. Saliva samples were collected from infants, mothers, and fathers on Days 1 and 2 (1/parent) for OT and cortisol measurement pre-SSC, during a 60-min SSC session, and a 45-min post-SSC. Parental anxiety was measured at the same time points. Parent-infant interaction was examined prior to discharge on Day 3 via video for synchrony and responsiveness using Dyadic Mutuality Coding. RESULTS: Salivary OT levels increased significantly during SSC for mothers (p < .001), fathers (p < .002), and infants (p < .002). Infant SC levels decreased significantly (p < .001) during SSC as compared to before and after SSC. Parent anxiety scores were significantly related to parent OT and SC levels. Parents with higher OT levels exhibited more synchrony and responsiveness (p < .001) in their infant interactions. CONCLUSION: This study addresses a gap in understanding the mechanisms linking parent-infant contact to biobehavioral responses. SSC activated OT release and decreased infant SC levels. Facilitation of SSC may be an effective intervention to reduce parent and infant stress in the NICU. Findings advance the exploration of OT as a potential moderator for improving responsiveness and synchrony in parent-infant interactions. SN - 1552-4175 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29017336/Increase_in_Oxytocin_From_Skin_to_Skin_Contact_Enhances_Development_of_Parent_Infant_Relationship_ L2 - http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1099800417735633?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&amp;rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&amp;rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -