Young adults in couple (pair-bond) relationships reported on the positive and negative aspects of their relationships and had blood drawn and assayed for oxytocin and vasopressin. Elevated plasma oxytocin was associated with distress in the pair-bond relationship for women, but not for men. Vasopressin, which is closely related to oxytocin in molecular structure and significantly related to male pair-bond behavior in animal studies, was elevated in men experiencing distress in the pair-bond relationship, but not in women. Controlling for estradiol and testosterone did not alter these findings. We conclude that plasma oxytocin in women and plasma vasopressin in men may be biomarkers of distressed pair-bond relationships.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
A chemical test for disturbed relationship?
MindBlog has done a number of posts on behavioral effects of oxytocin and vasopressin in humans (enter the terms in the search box in the left column to see them). Taylor et al. now show, in an open access article, that they may be biomarkers of distressed relationships: