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Title: Oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms and early parental bonding interact in shaping Instagram social behavior
Authors: Bonassi, Andrea
Cataldo, Ilaria
Gabrieli, Giulio
Foo, Jia Nee
Lepri, Bruno
Esposito, Gianluca
Keywords: Social sciences::Psychology
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Bonassi, A., Cataldo, I., Gabrieli, G., Foo, J. N., Lepri, B., & Esposito, G. (2020). Oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms and early parental bonding interact in shaping Instagram social behavior. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(19), 7232-. doi:10.3390/ijerph17197232
Project: M4081597, 2015–2021
Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Abstract: Human beings engage in multiple social interactions daily, both in person and online. There are, however, individual differences in the frequency and quality of these interactions. This exploratory study focuses on online interactions and aims to model these differences by looking at potential environmental and genetic factors. The environmental factor is the childhood parental relationship, as reported by the participants in the dimensions of the Parental Bonding Instrument (N = 57, 41 females). At a genetic level, buccal mucosa cell samples were collected to assess participants' genetic susceptibility, and OXTr regions rs2254298 (G/G homozygotes vs. A-carriers) and rs53576 (A/A homozygotes vs. G-carriers) were analyzed. To capture participants' online activity, Instagram was probed. The number of people that the individual follows ("followings"), followers, and posts were used as a proxy for the quantity of interaction, and a Social Desirability Index (SDI) was computed as the ratio of followers to followings. An interaction between OXTr groups and parental bonding scores on the number of followings and posts was hypothesized. A gene-environment interaction for OXTr/rs2254298 on the number of Instagram posts was identified. In line with the hypothesis, participants with a genetic risk factor (A-carriers) and a history of low paternal care showed fewer Instagram posts than those without this risk factor (G/G genotype). Moreover, an interaction effect between maternal overprotection and OXTr/rs2254298 on the Instagram SDI was detected. These findings could represent an indirect pathway through which genes and parental behavior interact to shape social interactions on Instagram.
ISSN: 1660-4601
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17197232
Rights: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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