Low levels of oxytocin in childhood

A study published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology shows that if a child experiences parental divorce, it can impact adult levels of oxytocin hormone. One of the experts says that there is strong evidence that having such an experience in childhood can result in oxytocin dysregulation, which can affect long term social experiences.

The objective of the study was to see whether there is a difference in the levels of oxytocin in people with and without separated parents.

When they were done with the forms, they were asked to give a urine sample that was tested for oxytocin levels later on. It was a clear result; however, the study did have some limitations as it did not account for the age at which they have to experience it, and how nature shaped the effects of divorce. Among the participants, only 26% have divorced parents, so the authors indicated that there is a need for more research with more participants.

Oxytocin hormone also called love hormone has different functions in the body like trust, sexual arousal, and anxiety. It is released when there is physical touch and it can also play a role in stress and addiction. In females, it is produced during labor and childbirth. Its role in men is small, however, it aids in testosterone production and sperm movement.

The hormone levels are related to the bond between a mother and a child and social relationships as well. If a person has low levels of oxytocin in childhood, he may have difficulty with social bonding in adulthood.

The effects of parents’ divorce could be more harmful if a person experiences it in childhood. In the long term, it can result in a person feeling emotionally unattached or seeking out an unhealthy relationship. However, some people also suffer from the fear of getting a divorce themselves, which can affect their ability to form relationships.