Genetic predisposition of social sensitivity might affect vulnerability to develop psychopathology after early life stress exposure. This study examined whether maternal verbally aggressive behavior in early infancy interacts with oxytocin polymorphisms in developing internalizing symptoms at ages 5–6 and 11–12. In the Amsterdam-Born-Children-and-their-Development (ABCD) study, a large observational, population-based birth cohort, maternal verbally aggressive behavior was assessed in the 13th postnatal week by a self-report questionnaire. Internalizing symptoms at age 5–6 were assessed by maternal report (N = 969) and internalizing symptoms at age 11–12 were assessed by self-report (N = 750). Data on oxytocin receptor polymorphisms rs53576 and rs2268498 and oxytocin polymorphisms rs2740210 and rs4813627 were collected. If the child was carrier of rs2740210 CA/AA polymorphism, exposure to maternal verbally aggressive behavior (10.6%) was positively associated with general anxiety at age 5–6 and emotional symptoms at age 11–12 (p for interaction = 0.011 and p = 0.015, respectively). If the child was carrier of rs4813627 GG (wild type), exposure to maternal verbally aggressive behavior was negatively associated with anxiety sensitivity and emotional symptoms at age 11–12 (p for interaction = 0.011 and p = 0.022, respectively). After exposure to maternal verbally aggressive behavior in early infancy, oxytocin polymorphisms may partly determine a child’s vulnerability to internalizing symptoms.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience|
|Early online date||7 May 2019|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2020|