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Differential susceptibility effects of oxytocin gene (OXT)polymorphisms and perceived parenting on social anxiety among adolescents
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centre for Clinical Research, County of Västmanland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8114-8386
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centre for Clinical Research, County of Västmanland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3589-6113
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6821-9058
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Neuro-psycho-pharmacology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2174-2068
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2018 (English)In: Development and psychopathology (Print), ISSN 0954-5794, E-ISSN 1469-2198, Vol. 30, no 2, p. 449-459Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Social anxiety is one of the most commonly reported mental health problems among adolescents, and it has been suggested that parenting style influences an adolescent's level of anxiety. A context-dependent effect of oxytocin on human social behavior has been proposed; however, research on the oxytocin gene (OXT) has mostly been reported without considering contextual factors. This study investigated the interactions between parenting style and polymorphic variations in the OXT gene in association with social anxiety symptoms in a community sample of adolescents (n = 1,359). Two single nucleotide polymorphisms linked to OXT, rs4813625 and rs2770378, were genotyped. Social anxiety and perceived parenting style were assessed by behavioral questionnaires. In interaction models adjusted for sex, significant interaction effects with parenting style were observed for both variants in relation to social anxiety. The nature of the interactions was in line with the differential susceptibility framework for rs4813625, whereas for rs2770378 the results indicated a diathesis–stress type of interaction. The findings may be interpreted from the perspective of the social salience hypothesis of oxytocin, with rs4813625 affecting social anxiety levels along a perceived unsafe–safe social context dimension.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, 2018. Vol. 30, no 2, p. 449-459
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-323574DOI: 10.1017/S0954579417000967OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-323574DiVA, id: diva2:1106722
Funder
Fredrik och Ingrid Thurings StiftelseThe Swedish Brain Foundation, F02015-0315Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, FORTE 2015-00897Åke Wiberg Foundation, MI5-0239Swedish Research Council, VR 2015-00495EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, INCA 600398Available from: 2017-06-08 Created: 2017-06-08 Last updated: 2018-07-31Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Anxiety among Adolescents: Measurement, Clinical Characteristics, and Influences of Parenting and Genetics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anxiety among Adolescents: Measurement, Clinical Characteristics, and Influences of Parenting and Genetics
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Anxiety is the most commonly reported mental health problem among adolescents. Still, many adolescents in need of treatment are not detected and the clinical characteristics and etiological pathways of adolescent anxiety are under-researched topics. This thesis examined the clinical utility of the Swedish versions of the Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale (SCAS) and the clinical characteristics of multiple anxiety disorders among psychiatrically referred adolescents, and the influence of parenting and oxytocin gene (OXT) variants on anxiety among adolescents in the general population.  Studies employed cross-sectional and longitudinal designs and were based on questionnaire, interview, and genotype data.

Support for the reliability and validity of both SCAS and SCAS-P was obtained. The overall ability to predict anxiety among referred adolescents ranged from fair to excellent for both scales. 

Among adolescents psychiatrically referred for any reason, the prevalence of any anxiety disorder was 46%. Homotypic comorbidity was observed in 43%, and heterotypic comorbidity in 91%.

Early adolescent anxiety influenced homotypic anxiety in late adolescence independent of parental rejection and control. The mediating role of parenting was small with indirect effect sizes no larger than one-tenth the size of direct effects, irrespective of the informant on parenting behavior.

Significant interaction effects with positive and negative parenting were observed for OXT variants rs4813625 and rs2770378 in relation to social anxiety. The nature of the interactions was in line with the differential susceptibility framework for rs4813625, whereas for rs2770378, results indicated a diathesis–stress type of interaction.

The findings suggest that psychiatrically referred adolescents with anxiety disorders are best characterized as a highly complex patient group and call attention to the necessity of structured assessment. For this purpose, this thesis provides evidence for the clinical utility of the SCAS; routine utilization of this questionnaire can improve detection of adolescents in need of anxiety treatment. Findings of this theses further suggest that the influence of positive and negative parenting behaviors on anxiety may be of greater importance among some adolescents than others, depending on individual differences in sensitivity to parenting. The etiology of anxiety among adolescents may therefore involve differential susceptibility effects of the interplay between genes and parenting behaviors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. p. 108
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1356
Keywords
Adolescent, anxiety, assessment, prevalence, comorbidity, parenting, oxytocin, gene–environment interaction, differential susceptibility
National Category
Neurosciences
Research subject
Child and Youth Psychiatry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-323578 (URN)978-91-513-0033-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-10-20, Vårdskolans aula, Ingång 21, Västmanlands sjukhus, Västerås, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-09-29 Created: 2017-08-14 Last updated: 2018-01-13

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Publisher's full texthttps://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/development-and-psychopathology/article/differential-susceptibility-effects-of-oxytocin-gene-oxt-polymorphisms-and-perceived-parenting-on-social-anxiety-among-adolescents/2C65FB1C2186C1A99B5C2BB0777F5332

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Olofsdotter, SusanneÅslund, CeciliaFurmark, TomasComasco, ErikaNilson, Kent W.

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Olofsdotter, SusanneÅslund, CeciliaFurmark, TomasComasco, ErikaNilson, Kent W.
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Centre for Clinical Research, County of VästmanlandDepartment of PsychologyNeuro-psycho-pharmacology
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