Association between ocytocin levels and attachment styles in an sample elderly of Family Health Strategy

Keywords: aged, oxytocin, affective bond

Abstract

Objective: the objective of this study is to identify the attachment profile of an elderly sample from the Family Health Strategy and to verify the association with serum oxytocin levels.
Method: a cross-sectional, descriptive and analytical study was carried out with elderly patients assisted by the Family Health Strategy in Porto Alegre/RS. Sociodemographic variables, oxytocin and attachment styles were investigated. The instruments used were the General Brain Aging Program Questionnaire – PENCE for sociodemographic data; Relationship Scale Questionnaire – RSQ for attachment styles. Oxytocin was obtained through serum and measured using the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay – ELISA technique.
Results: 108 elderly people were investigated, with a female prevalence (73.1%) and a mean age of 71.8 years. A positive correlation was observed between oxytocin and secure attachment (p<0.05) and (r=0.195). The results also showed a statistically significant difference in anxious and fearful attachment styles, between genders.
Conclusion: the findings of this study reinforce the important role of oxytocin as a molecule that modulates social functioning, reinforcing the idea that this neuropeptide presents itself as a potential link between neurophysiology and the formation of a secure attachment bond. Our data also suggest that gender can present itself as an influencing aspect in the formation of attachment, further expanding the discussion about neutrality, proposed by the classic model of attachment theory.

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Author Biographies

Guilherme Nogueira, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.

Doutor em Gerontologia Biomédica pela Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), em Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.

Paula Engroff, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.

Farmacêutica. Doutora em Gerontologia Biomédica pela Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), em Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.

Maria Gabriela Valle Gotllieb, Biogerontologista, pesquisadora independente, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.

Biogerontologista. PhD em Ciências da Saúde pela Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), em Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil. Escritora e Terapeuta Integrativa em Saúde. Consultora da UNESCO para o Projeto RS Amigo do Idoso.

Armin von Gunten, Service Universitaire de Psychiatrie de l’Age Avance (SUPAA), University of Lausanne (UNIL), Lausanne, Switzerland.

Medical Doctor. Postdoctoral fellowships at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, United Kington and at the Fishberg Research Center for Neurobiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, USA. Professor of old-age psychiatry at the Lausanne University Hospital and the head of the old-age psychiatry service of the CHUV in Lausanne, Switzerland. Director of the Collaborating Centre for old-age psychiatry of the World Health Organization (WHO), in Geneva, Switzerland.

Gabriel Behr Gomes Jardim, Service Universitaire de Psychiatrie de l’Age Avance (SUPAA), University of Lausanne (UNIL), Lausanne, Switzerland.

Médico. Residência Médica em Psiquiatria no Hospital São Lucas, em Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil. Mestre em Gerontologia Biomédica pela Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), em Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil. Médico assistente em psiquiatria geriátrica no Service Universitaire de Psychiatrie de I’Age Avancée do Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), em Lausanne, Suíça.

Alfredo Cataldo Neto, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.

Médico. Doutor em Medicina e Ciências da Saúde pela Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), em Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil; professor da Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), em Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.

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Published
2021-08-26
How to Cite
Nogueira, G., Engroff, P., Gotllieb, M. G. V., von Gunten, A., Jardim, G. B. G., & Neto, A. C. (2021). Association between ocytocin levels and attachment styles in an sample elderly of Family Health Strategy. PAJAR - Pan American Journal of Aging Research, 9(1), e40965. https://doi.org/10.15448/2357-9641.2021.1.40965