E-ISSN 2636-834X
 

Original Research 


Oxytocin Plasma Concentrations in Male Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Relationship with Aggression and Empathy Skills

Hacer Gizem Gercek, Hatice AKSU, Mustafa Yilmaz.

Abstract
Objective: Findings from various studies in animal models and humans have demonstrated a clear role of neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) on complex social behaviors. Oxytocin is known to mediate social interactions, and as a result, it has been investigated in a number of psychiatric disorders. This study aims to explore the link between aggression and empathy and OT levels in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Method: Thirty-two male ASD patients, ranging in age from 8 to 15 years, and 30 healthy age- and sex-matched controls were included in this study. All patients were assessed with the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children-Present and Lifetime version-Turkish version (K-SADS-PL), the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET) and Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). The patients’ and the healthy controls’ parents filled out the Abnormal/Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC), Children’s Aggression Scale-Parent Version (CAS-P) and Griffith Empathy Measure-Parent Evaluation Form (GEM-PEF). Serum OT levels of the groups were compared.
Results: Higher serum OT levels were observed in ASD cases compared to the healthy controls. There was no significant difference between the groups’ OT levels (p=0.155). When the RMET and the GEM-PEF scores were compared among the groups both; RMET scores and GEM-PEF scores of children in the ASD group were statistically significantly lower (p <0.001) than the control group. No significant difference in CAS-P mean scores was identified between the groups. In both groups, there was no correlation between aggression and empathy levels and serum OT levels.
Conclusion: In our study, serum OT levels and aggressive behaviors did not significantly differ between the groups. We detected statistically lower empathy scores in patients with ASD. However, we did not find a relationship between serum OT levels and aggressive behaviors and empathy skills. In order to determine the relationship between serum OT level and aggressive behaviors and empathy skills, and to generalize the findings, population-based, series of studies with larger samples are needed.
Keywords: Autism; Neuropeptides, Oxytocin; Empathy; Aggression.

Key words: Autism; Neuropeptides, Oxytocin; Empathy; Aggression.


 
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How to Cite this Article
Pubmed Style

Gercek HG, AKSU H, Yilmaz M. Oxytocin Plasma Concentrations in Male Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Relationship with Aggression and Empathy Skills. PBS. 2021; 11(4): 227-234. doi:10.5455/PBS.20210513115734


Web Style

Gercek HG, AKSU H, Yilmaz M. Oxytocin Plasma Concentrations in Male Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Relationship with Aggression and Empathy Skills. https://www.pbsciences.org/?mno=81085 [Access: April 05, 2022]. doi:10.5455/PBS.20210513115734


AMA (American Medical Association) Style

Gercek HG, AKSU H, Yilmaz M. Oxytocin Plasma Concentrations in Male Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Relationship with Aggression and Empathy Skills. PBS. 2021; 11(4): 227-234. doi:10.5455/PBS.20210513115734



Vancouver/ICMJE Style

Gercek HG, AKSU H, Yilmaz M. Oxytocin Plasma Concentrations in Male Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Relationship with Aggression and Empathy Skills. PBS. (2021), [cited April 05, 2022]; 11(4): 227-234. doi:10.5455/PBS.20210513115734



Harvard Style

Gercek, H. G., AKSU, . H. & Yilmaz, . M. (2021) Oxytocin Plasma Concentrations in Male Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Relationship with Aggression and Empathy Skills. PBS, 11 (4), 227-234. doi:10.5455/PBS.20210513115734



Turabian Style

Gercek, Hacer Gizem, Hatice AKSU, and Mustafa Yilmaz. 2021. Oxytocin Plasma Concentrations in Male Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Relationship with Aggression and Empathy Skills. Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 11 (4), 227-234. doi:10.5455/PBS.20210513115734



Chicago Style

Gercek, Hacer Gizem, Hatice AKSU, and Mustafa Yilmaz. "Oxytocin Plasma Concentrations in Male Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Relationship with Aggression and Empathy Skills." Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 11 (2021), 227-234. doi:10.5455/PBS.20210513115734



MLA (The Modern Language Association) Style

Gercek, Hacer Gizem, Hatice AKSU, and Mustafa Yilmaz. "Oxytocin Plasma Concentrations in Male Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Relationship with Aggression and Empathy Skills." Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 11.4 (2021), 227-234. Print. doi:10.5455/PBS.20210513115734



APA (American Psychological Association) Style

Gercek, H. G., AKSU, . H. & Yilmaz, . M. (2021) Oxytocin Plasma Concentrations in Male Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Relationship with Aggression and Empathy Skills. Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 11 (4), 227-234. doi:10.5455/PBS.20210513115734