A genetic basis for attachment disorganization in infants

October 31, 2000

Dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene polymorphism is associated with attachment disorganization in infants

About 15% of one-year-old infants in non-clinical low-risk and up to 80% in high-risk (e.g. maltreated) populations show extensive disorganized attachment behavior in the moderately stressful Ainsworth Strange Situation Test. It has also been found that disorganization of early attachment is a major risk factor for the development of childhood behavior problems. The authors report an association between the DRD4 III exon 48 basepair repeat polymorphism and attachment disorganization. The 7 repeat allele was significantly more frequent in infants with disorganized attachment behavior (71%) compared to non-disorganized infants (29%). The estimated relative risk for disorganized attachment was four-fold among children carrying the 7-repeat allele. Attachment disorganization in infancy has been explained primarily by inappropriate care-giving; our finding suggests a genetic susceptibility to the collapse of organized attachment strategy under stress.
Authors: Krisztina Lakatos, I Toth, Z Nemoda, K Ney, Maria Sasvari-Szekely, J Gervai

Citation source: Molecular Psychiatry 2000 Volume 5 pages 633-637.

For further information on this work, please contact:
Dr. Krisztina Lakatos
Institute of Psychology
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
POB 398
Budapest, Hungary-1394
Email: szulakat@mtapi.hu

Molecular Psychiatry is published by the Nature Publishing Group. http://www.nature.com/mp

Editor: Julio Licinio, M.D.; phone: +1 310 206-6207; FAX: +1 310 825-6407; e-mail: licinio@ucla.eduEditorial assistant: Ms. Ava Martin; phone: +1 310 206-6739; FAX: +1 310 825-6407; e-mail: molecularpsychiatry@mednet.ucla.edu For a copy of these articles, please contact Ms. Martin.


Molecular Psychiatry

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