Nowadays, the role played by individual genetic factors and specific environmental influences on online social behaviour is unexplored. In order to explore online adult sociability, this research investigates how oxytocin receptor (OXTr) gene and early caregiving propensities during childhood interact in moderating Facebook users' social attitudes. Self-report questionnaire Parental Bonding Instrument was used to evaluate participants' (N = 40; 11 males) early parental care. The number of friends was extracted to obtain a measure of participants' Facebook activity. Buccal mucosa cell samples were collected to assess participants' genetic predispositions. Regions OXTr/rs53576 (A/A homozygotes vs G-carriers), OXTr/rs2254298 (G/G homozygotes vs A-carriers) were considered. We hypothesized a cross interaction between genetic groups and parental bonding scores on the number of friends. Although we did not found specific gene-environment interactions, we detected a gender effect and a maternal care effect on Facebook friends' number. Specifically, participants with a history of high maternal care showed a higher number of friends than those who experienced low maternal care. In line with the attachment theory, early high maternal care could positively affect adult sociability and lead to seek enhanced social interactions, also in online environments and SNS as Facebook. This preliminary study provides a potential contribution to future investigations in the field.

Exploring Sociable Attitudes in Facebook: A gene-environment investigation

Bonassi, A.;Cataldo, I.;Lepri, B.;
2020

Abstract

Nowadays, the role played by individual genetic factors and specific environmental influences on online social behaviour is unexplored. In order to explore online adult sociability, this research investigates how oxytocin receptor (OXTr) gene and early caregiving propensities during childhood interact in moderating Facebook users' social attitudes. Self-report questionnaire Parental Bonding Instrument was used to evaluate participants' (N = 40; 11 males) early parental care. The number of friends was extracted to obtain a measure of participants' Facebook activity. Buccal mucosa cell samples were collected to assess participants' genetic predispositions. Regions OXTr/rs53576 (A/A homozygotes vs G-carriers), OXTr/rs2254298 (G/G homozygotes vs A-carriers) were considered. We hypothesized a cross interaction between genetic groups and parental bonding scores on the number of friends. Although we did not found specific gene-environment interactions, we detected a gender effect and a maternal care effect on Facebook friends' number. Specifically, participants with a history of high maternal care showed a higher number of friends than those who experienced low maternal care. In line with the attachment theory, early high maternal care could positively affect adult sociability and lead to seek enhanced social interactions, also in online environments and SNS as Facebook. This preliminary study provides a potential contribution to future investigations in the field.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11582/325125
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