Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2014 Oct;48:52-63. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.06.003. Epub 2014 Jun 16.

The role of oxytocin in mothers' theory of mind and interactive behavior during the perinatal period.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
2
Department of Philosophy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
3
Centre for Nursing Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
4
Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
5
Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
6
Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Electronic address: phyllis.zelkowitz@mcgill.ca.

Abstract

The present longitudinal study examined the relations between plasma oxytocin, theory of mind, and maternal interactive behavior during the perinatal period. A community sample of women was assessed at 12-14 weeks gestation, 32-34 weeks gestation, and 7-9 weeks postpartum. Oxytocin during late pregnancy was significantly positively correlated with a measure of theory of mind, and predicted theory of mind ability after controlling for parity, maternal education, prenatal psychosocial risk, and general anxiety, measured during the first trimester. Theory of mind was associated with less remote and less depressive maternal interactive behavior. Oxytocin, across all time points, was not directly related to maternal interactive behavior. However, there was a significant indirect effect of oxytocin during late pregnancy on depressive maternal behavior via theory of mind ability. These preliminary findings suggest that changes in the oxytocinergic system during the perinatal period may contribute to the awareness of social cues, which in turn plays a role in maternal interactive behavior.

KEYWORDS:

Maternal behavior; Oxytocin; Perinatal; Pregnancy; Social behavior; Social cognition; Theory of mind

PMID:
24995584
DOI:
10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.06.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center