Despite a large body of evidence implicating oxytocin (OT) in various classes of social relationships, researchers have only recently investigated how OT might function within human romantic relationships. I contribute to the growing literature on OT and romantic relationships with the current study, which investigated relationship features that promote OT secretion in a sample of 75 romantic couples. Partners in separate rooms were asked to write (for 10 minutes) about ways their partner did or did not support them. OT was assayed before and after this writing task, and also at a follow-up session one week later. Mixed model analyses showed that participants OT increased across the task with multiple dimensions of relationship involvement/investment. However, increases in participants' OT also corresponded to their partners reporting lower relationship involvement. OT increases, then reflected discrepancies between own and partner's relationship assessments. These findings may importantly speak to its function in sexual relationships.
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Emery Thompson, Melissa
Second Committee Member
Del Giudice, Marco
oxytocin, evolution, hormones, relationships, evolutionary biology
Grebe, Nicholas. "Oxytocin and Romantic Relationships: A Functional Perspective." (2015). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/psy_etds/52