The present study investigated the interaction of attachment security and genotype in the oxytocin receptor gene on affectionate communication. Specifically, we predicted that individuals’ genotype for the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs53576 on the oxytocin receptor gene would show a stronger influence in individuals with weak attachment security compared to individuals with strong attachment security. One hundred sixty-four participants completed questionnaire measures about their attachment security and affectionate communication and provided saliva samples for genetic analysis. In support of a predicted gene-environment interaction (G x E) interaction, the GG genotype showed a stronger influence on affectionate communication for people low in attachment security than for people high in attachment security. These results support the (G x E) approach to understanding the relationship between genetics and environmental triggers, as the influence of genotype for rs53576 on affectionate communication was moderated by attachment security.
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