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