INTRODUCTION: Infant body odor is subjectively pleasant to parents and activates reward areas in the brain. Hence, body odor perception might contribute to parental bonding. However, it is unknown whether the perceived pleasantness of children's body odor varies over the course of a child's development.
METHODS: Two hundred and thirty-five parents (M = 36.9 years, SD = 7.3) were asked to assess the personal odor pleasantness of their children (N = 367; M = 9.3 years, SD = 6.4).
RESULTS: Odor pleasantness was found to decrease as a function of children's age. Neither sex of the parent nor sex of the child contributed significantly to this effect.
CONCLUSIONS: We propose that the effect of age-related changes on personal odor pleasantness reflects olfactory modulation of parental-child relationships.
IMPLICATIONS: Our study suggests that perception of young children's personal odor as pleasant may contribute to bonding and thereby caretaking, which is needed to a lesser degree after puberty than before.
|Seiten (von - bis)||81-87|
|Publikationsstatus||Veröffentlicht - 2017|