The Role of Oxytocin in formation of Infant-mother Attachment: a systematic review


1 Department of Health Psychology, faculty of psychology and Educational Science, University of Tehran

2 University of Tehran


Context: It is over two decades that bio-cognitive studies in the field of Bowlby’s attachment theory became very important. Currently, the researchers emphasize on the role of oxytocin in the formation of attachment and caring behaviors.a Evidence acquisition: To study the relationship between oxytocin and attachment, related articles were studied in the Pubmed, Medlib, Cochrane library, SID and Iran Doc Informationa databases (2000 to 2016). The articles assessing the relationship of oxytocin with non-attachment features have been excluded among the studied articles. A total of 115 articles were studied. Results: The relationship between attachment and oxytocin is highly confirmed in all these investigations, regarding the variety of methodology in the collected studies and obtaining the confirming studies. Conclusion: Studies show that the process of pregnancy, childbirth and the mother’s relationship with the baby increases the mother’s oxytocin level and thus the improvement of maternal behavior. The consequence of enhancing the care quality is an increase in the oxytocin level in the brain of the baby. As a result, oxytocin plays a critical role in the improvement of maternal care and mother-infant attachment status.


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