The objective was to obtain developmental trajectories combining callous-unemotional traits and the number of stressful life-events between ages 3 and 9 years and to ascertain their association with the polymorphism rs53576 at the Oxytocin Receptor gene (OXTR). A total of 377 children were assessed yearly from ages 3 to 9 years. Latent class growth analysis for parallel processes was used to identify distinct trajectories for callous-unemotional traits (assessed using the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits, ICU) and number of stressful life-events, and then the influence of being an A allele carrier on class membership was included with OXTR genotypes as a binary time-invariant predictor, following a 3-step approach. A 3-class model showed the highest entropy (.859) and adequate posterior probabilities of class membership (≥.884). Class 1 (n = 226, 59.9%) included children with low and stable ICU scores and low and descending stressful life-events; class 2 (n = 127, 33.7%) included children with high and ascending ICU scores and low and slightly descending stressful life-events; and class 3 (n = 24, 6.4%) included children with persistently high profiles both for ICU scores and stressful life-events. Carrying an A allele (genotypes GA/AA) increased the odds of pertaining to class 3 (high and persistent ICU scores and stressful life-events) as opposed to class 2 (OR = 4.27, p = 0.034) or class 1 (OR = 3.81, p = 0.042). The results suggest the importance of considering callous-unemotional traits and stressful life-events in conjunction. In addition, the genetic variability of OXTR (rs53576) may help to understand individual differences in early development.
Ezpeleta, L., Penelo, E., de la Osa, N., Navarro, J. B., Fañanás, L., & Fatjó-Vilas, M. (2019). Association of OXTR rs53576 with the Developmental Trajectories of Callous-Unemotional Traits and Stressful Life Events in 3- to 9-Year-Old Community Children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 47(10), 1651–1662. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-019-00548-z