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ERIC Number: EJ827029
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 84
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Association between the Serotonin Transporter Promoter Polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and Adult Unresolved Attachment
Caspers, Kristin M.; Paradiso, Sergio; Yucuis, Rebecca; Troutman, Beth; Arndt, Stephan; Philibert, Robert
Developmental Psychology, v45 n1 p64-76 Jan 2009
Research on antecedents of organized attachment has focused on the quality of caregiving received during childhood. In recent years, research has begun to examine the influence of genetic factors on quality of infant attachment. However, no published studies report on the association between specific genetic factors and adult attachment. This study examined the link between the 5-HTTLPR promoter polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene and adult unresolved attachment assessed with the Adult Attachment Interview. Genetic material and information on attachment-related loss or trauma were available for 86 participants. Multivariate regression analyses showed an association between the short 5-HTTLPR allele and increased risk for unresolved attachment. Temperament traits and psychological symptoms did not affect the association between 5-HTTLPR and unresolved attachment. The authors hypothesize that the increased susceptibility to unresolved attachment among carriers of the short allele of 5-HTTLPR is consistent with the role of serotonin in modulation of frontal-amygdala circuitry. The findings challenge current thinking by demonstrating significant genetic influences on a phenomenon previously thought to be largely environmentally driven. (Contains 8 tables.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Adult Attachment Interview