Lack of association between severity of ADHD symptoms and salivary oxytocin levels

Dennis Boyle, Orit Levi-Shachar, Hila Z. Gvirts, Orna Zagoory-Sharon, Ruth Feldman, Yuval Bloch, Uriel Nitzan, Hagai Maoz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Impairments in the reactivity of Oxytocin (OT) system were associated with interpersonal difficulties in children with ADHD. The current study aimed to explore the correlation between symptoms severity and salivary OT levels at different time-points in children with ADHD. Symptoms severity was assessed in 50 children with ADHD (28 males, mean age 9.42 ± 1.65) using the Swanson, Nolan and Pelham Questionnaire-IV (SNAP-IV) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Salivary OT levels were measured at baseline, as well as 15 min after positive social interaction. There was no statistical correlation between severity of ADHD and salivary OT levels in each of the time points. We conclude that impairments in the reactivity of the OT system in children with ADHD, associated with interpersonal impairments, might be a distinct aspect of the clinical picture, differentiated from the levels of inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive or behavioral symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105293
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Oxytocin
  • Social cognition


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