Attachment and Epigenetics: A Scoping Review of Recent Research and Current Knowledge

Pernille Darling Rasmussen*, Ole Jakob Storebø

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background: Epigenetic research has pointed to that the interaction between genetics and environmental factors may play a role in making some individuals more vulnerable than others. Aim: The aim of this article was to present a broad perspective on the current state of knowledge in a relatively new and complex field of “attachment and epigenetic processes.” Method: We conducted a scoping review based on a systematic literature search in PsycINFO, PubMed, and Embase databases for relevant abstracts using the terms attachment and epigenet*. Results: In total, 11 studies were included. Research predating 2009 and animal studies were excluded in order to review the current state of research in humans. Conclusion: Overall, there seems to be a consistency in the literature, pointing to a link between early childhood adversity, attachment processes, and epigenetic changes. However, research in human subjects is still limited.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Reports
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)479-501
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Attachment
  • genetics and behavior
  • mental and physical health
  • public health issues
  • sociobiology


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