Brief report: Oxytocin enhances paternal sensitivity to a child with autism: A double-blind within-subject experiment with intranasally administered oxytocin

Fabiënne B.A. Naber*, Irina E. Poslawsky, Marinus H. Van Ijzendoorn, Herman Van Engeland, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Oxytocin seems associated with parenting style, and experimental work showed positive effects of intranasally administered oxytocin on parenting style of fathers. Here, the first double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject experiment with intranasal oxytocin administration to fathers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is presented. Fathers with their typically developing toddler (n = 18), and fathers of toddlers diagnosed with ASD (n = 14), were observed in two play sessions of 15 min each with an intervening period of 1 week. In all fathers oxytocin elevated the quality of paternal sensitive play: fathers stimulated their child in a more optimal way, and they showed less hostility which suggests the positive effects of oxytocin on paternal sensitive play irrespective of clinical status of their child.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-229
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Fathers
  • Oxytocin
  • Sensitive parenting

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