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Plasma oxytocin and personality traits in psychiatric outpatients
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
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2015 (English)In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, ISSN 0306-4530, E-ISSN 1873-3360, Vol. 57, 102-110 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The oxytocin system is regarded as being of relevance for social interaction. In spite of this, very few studies have investigated the relationship between oxytocin and personality traits in clinical psychiatric populations. We assessed the relationship between personality traits and plasma oxytocin levels in a population of 101 medication-free psychiatric outpatients (men = 37, women = 64). We used the Karolinska Scale of Personality (KSP) and diagnostic and symptomatic testing. Plasma oxytocin levels were analysed with a specific radioimmunoassay at inclusion and after one month for testing of stability. Plasma oxytocin levels were stable over time and did not differ between patients with or without personality disorders, nor were they related to severity of depressive or anxiety symptoms. The KSP factors Impulsiveness and Negative Emotionality were significant independent predictors of plasma oxytocin. A subscale analysis of these personality factors showed significant positive correlations between baseline plasma oxytocin and the KSP subscales monotony avoidance and psychic anxiety. The significant association between the KSP factor Impulsiveness and oxytocin levels observed at baseline was observed also one month later in men. These findings suggest that personality traits such as Impulsiveness and Negative emotionality which are linked to social functioning in several psychiatric disorders seem to be associated with endogenous plasma oxytocin levels. These variations in oxytocin levels might have an impact on social sensitivity or social motivation with possible gender differences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 57, 102-110 p.
Keyword [en]
Oxytocin, Personality traits, Personality disorder, Mood disorder, Extraversion, Anxiety
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-106490DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.04.003ISI: 000355707000010PubMedID: 25910979OAI: diva2:842090
Available from: 2015-07-16 Created: 2015-07-14 Last updated: 2016-02-17Bibliographically approved

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