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1.
Dev Sci ; : e12925, 2019 Nov 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31758750

RESUMO

The two best predictors of children's educational achievement available from birth are parents' socioeconomic status (SES) and, recently, children's inherited DNA differences that can be aggregated in genome-wide polygenic scores (GPS). Here we chart for the first time the developmental interplay between these two predictors of educational achievement at ages 7, 11, 14 and 16 in a sample of almost 5,000 UK school children. We show that the prediction of educational achievement from both GPS and SES increases steadily throughout the school years. Using latent growth curve models, we find that GPS and SES not only predict educational achievement in the first grade but they also account for systematic changes in achievement across the school years. At the end of compulsory education at age 16, GPS and SES respectively predict 14% and 23% of the variance of educational achievement. Analyses of the extremes of GPS and SES highlight their influence and interplay: In children who have high GPS and come from high SES families, 77% go to university, whereas 21% of children with low GPS and from low SES backgrounds attend university. We find that the associations of GPS and SES with educational achievement are primarily additive, suggesting that their joint influence is particularly dramatic for children at the extreme ends of the distribution.

2.
Twin Res Hum Genet ; : 1-9, 2019 Sep 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31496451

RESUMO

The Children of the Twins Early Development Study (CoTEDS) is a new prospective children-of-twins study in the UK, designed to investigate intergenerational associations across child developmental stages. CoTEDS will enable research on genetic and environmental factors that underpin parent-child associations, with a focus on mental health and cognitive-related traits. Through CoTEDS, we will have a new lens to examine the roles that parents play in influencing child development, as well as the genetic and environmental factors that shape parenting behavior and experiences. Recruitment is ongoing from the sample of approximately 20,000 contactable adult twins who have been enrolled in the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) since infancy. TEDS twins are invited to register all offspring to CoTEDS at birth, with 554 children registered as of May 2019. By recruiting the second generation of TEDS participants, CoTEDS will include information on adult twins and their offspring from infancy. Parent questionnaire-based data collection is now underway for 1- and 2-year-old CoTEDS infants, with further waves of data collection planned. Current data collection includes the following primary constructs: child mental health, temperament, language and cognitive development; parent mental health and social relationships; parenting behaviors and feelings; and other socioecological factors. Measurement tools have been selected with reference to existing genetically informative cohort studies to ensure overlap in phenotypes measured at corresponding stages of development. This built-in study overlap is intended to enable replication and triangulation of future analyses across samples and research designs. Here, we summarize study protocols and measurement procedures and describe future plans.

3.
Twin Res Hum Genet ; : 1-6, 2019 Sep 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31544730

RESUMO

The Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) is a longitudinal twin study that recruited over 16,000 twin-pairs born between 1994 and 1996 in England and Wales through national birth records. More than 10,000 of these families are still engaged in the study. TEDS was and still is a representative sample of the population in England and Wales. Rich cognitive and emotional/behavioral data have been collected from the twins from infancy to emerging adulthood, with data collection at first contact and at ages 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 21, enabling longitudinal genetically sensitive analyses. Data have been collected from the twins themselves, from their parents and teachers, and from the UK National Pupil Database. Genotyped DNA data are available for 10,346 individuals (who are unrelated except for 3320 dizygotic co-twins). TEDS data have contributed to over 400 scientific papers involving more than 140 researchers in 50 research institutions. TEDS offers an outstanding resource for investigating cognitive and behavioral development across childhood and early adulthood and actively fosters scientific collaborations.

4.
Twin Res Hum Genet ; : 1-12, 2019 Sep 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31547893

RESUMO

The purpose of this update is to provide the most current information about both the Colorado Adoption Project (CAP) and the Longitudinal Twin Study (LTS) and to introduce the Colorado Adoption/Twin Study of Lifespan behavioral development and cognitive aging (CATSLife), a product of their merger and a unique study of lifespan behavioral development and cognitive aging. The primary objective of CATSLife is to assess the unique saliency of early childhood genetic and environmental factors to adult cognitive maintenance and change, as well as proximal influences and innovations that emerge across development. CATSLife is currently assessing up to 1600 individuals on the cusp of middle age, targeting those between 30 and 40 years of age. The ongoing CATSLife data collection is described as well as the longitudinal data available from the earlier CAP and LTS assessments. We illustrate CATSLife via current projects and publications, highlighting the measurement of genetic, biochemical, social, sociodemographic and environmental indices, including geospatial features, and their impact on cognitive maintenance in middle adulthood. CATSLife provides an unparalleled opportunity to assess prospectively the etiologies of cognitive change and test the saliency of early childhood versus proximal influences on the genesis of cognitive decline.

5.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31541466

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Diverse behaviour problems in childhood correlate phenotypically, suggesting a general dimension of psychopathology that has been called the p factor. The shared genetic architecture between childhood psychopathology traits also supports a genetic p. This study systematically investigates the manifestation of this common dimension across self-, parent- and teacher-rated measures in childhood and adolescence. METHODS: The sample included 7,026 twin pairs from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS). First, we employed multivariate twin models to estimate common genetic and environmental influences on p based on diverse measures of behaviour problems rated by children, parents and teachers at ages 7, 9, 12 and 16 (depressive traits, emotional problems, peer problems, autism traits, hyperactivity, antisocial behaviour, conduct problems and psychopathic tendencies). Second, to assess the stability of genetic and environmental influences on p across time, we conducted longitudinal twin modelling of the first phenotypic principal components of childhood psychopathological measures across each of the four ages. Third, we created a genetic p factor in 7,026 unrelated genotyped individuals based on eight polygenic scores for psychiatric disorders to estimate how a general polygenic predisposition to mostly adult psychiatric disorders relates to childhood p. RESULTS: Behaviour problems were consistently correlated phenotypically and genetically across ages and raters. The p factor is substantially heritable (50%-60%) and manifests consistently across diverse ages and raters. However, residual variation in the common factor models indicates unique contributions as well. Genetic correlations of p components across childhood and adolescence suggest stability over time (49%-78%). A polygenic general psychopathology factor derived from studies of psychiatric disorders consistently predicted a general phenotypic p factor across development (0.3%-0.9%). CONCLUSIONS: Diverse forms of psychopathology generally load on a common p factor, which is highly heritable. There are substantial genetic influences on the stability of p across childhood. Our analyses indicate genetic overlap between general risk for psychiatric disorders in adulthood and p in childhood, even as young as age 7. The p factor has far-reaching implications for genomic research and, eventually, for diagnosis and treatment of behaviour problems.

6.
Am J Hum Genet ; 105(2): 351-363, 2019 Aug 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31303263

RESUMO

Polygenic scores are a popular tool for prediction of complex traits. However, prediction estimates in samples of unrelated participants can include effects of population stratification, assortative mating, and environmentally mediated parental genetic effects, a form of genotype-environment correlation (rGE). Comparing genome-wide polygenic score (GPS) predictions in unrelated individuals with predictions between siblings in a within-family design is a powerful approach to identify these different sources of prediction. Here, we compared within- to between-family GPS predictions of eight outcomes (anthropometric, cognitive, personality, and health) for eight corresponding GPSs. The outcomes were assessed in up to 2,366 dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs from the Twins Early Development Study from age 12 to age 21. To account for family clustering, we used mixed-effects modeling, simultaneously estimating within- and between-family effects for target- and cross-trait GPS prediction of the outcomes. There were three main findings: (1) DZ twin GPS differences predicted DZ differences in height, BMI, intelligence, educational achievement, and ADHD symptoms; (2) target and cross-trait analyses indicated that GPS prediction estimates for cognitive traits (intelligence and educational achievement) were on average 60% greater between families than within families, but this was not the case for non-cognitive traits; and (3) much of this within- and between-family difference for cognitive traits disappeared after controlling for family socio-economic status (SES), suggesting that SES is a major source of between-family prediction through rGE mechanisms. These results provide insights into the patterns by which rGE contributes to GPS prediction, while ruling out confounding due to population stratification and assortative mating.

8.
J Child Psychol Psychiatry ; 60(12): 1278-1288, 2019 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31079420

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Children in the UK go through rigorous teacher assessments and standardized exams throughout compulsory (elementary and secondary) education, culminating with the GCSE exams (General Certificate of Secondary Education) at the age of 16 and A-level exams (Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education) at the age of 18. These exams are a major tipping point directing young individuals towards different lifelong trajectories. However, little is known about the associations between teacher assessments and exam performance or how well these two measurement approaches predict educational outcomes at the end of compulsory education and beyond. METHODS: The current investigation used the UK-representative Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) sample of over 5,000 twin pairs studied longitudinally from childhood to young adulthood (age 7-18). We used teacher assessment and exam performance across development to investigate, using genetically sensitive designs, the associations between teacher assessment and standardized exam scores, as well as teacher assessments' prediction of exam scores at ages 16 and 18, and university enrolment. RESULTS: Teacher assessments of achievement are as reliable, stable and heritable (~60%) as test scores at every stage of the educational experience. Teacher and test scores correlate strongly phenotypically (r ~ .70) and genetically (genetic correlation ~.80) both contemporaneously and over time. Earlier exam performance accounts for additional variance in standardized exam results (~10%) at age 16, when controlling for teacher assessments. However, exam performance explains less additional variance in later academic success, ~5% for exam grades at 18, and ~3% for university entry, when controlling for teacher assessments. Teacher assessments also predict additional variance in later exam performance and university enrolment, when controlling for previous exam scores. CONCLUSIONS: Teachers can reliably and validly monitor students' progress, abilities and inclinations. High-stakes exams may shift educational experience away from learning towards exam performance. For these reasons, we suggest that teacher assessments could replace some, or all, high-stakes exams.

9.
J Pers Soc Psychol ; 117(6): 1145-1163, 2019 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30920283

RESUMO

Genome-wide polygenic scores (GPS) can be used to predict individual genetic risk and resilience. For example, a GPS for years of education (EduYears) explains substantial variance in cognitive traits such as general cognitive ability and educational achievement. Personality traits are also known to contribute to individual differences in educational achievement. However, the association between EduYears GPS and personality traits remains largely unexplored. Here, we test the relation between GPS for EduYears, neuroticism, and well-being, and 6 personality and motivation domains: Academic Motivation, Extraversion, Openness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Agreeableness. The sample was drawn from a U.K.-representative sample of up to 8,322 individuals assessed at age 16. We find that EduYears GPS was positively associated with Openness, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, and Academic Motivation, predicting between 0.6% and 3% of the variance. In addition, we find that EduYears GPS explains between 8% and 16% of the association between personality domains and educational achievement at the end of compulsory education. In contrast, both the neuroticism and well-being GPS significantly accounted for between 0.3% and 0.7% of the variance in a subset of personality domains. Furthermore, they did not significantly account for any of the covariance between the personality domains and achievement, with the exception of the neuroticism GPS explaining 5% of the covariance between Neuroticism and achievement. These results demonstrate that the genetic effects of educational attainment relate to personality traits, highlighting the multifaceted nature of EduYears GPS. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

10.
Dev Psychol ; 55(5): 1088-1095, 2019 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30702313

RESUMO

At the end of compulsory schooling, young adults decide on educational and occupational trajectories that impact their subsequent employability, health and even life expectancy. To understand the antecedents to these decisions, we follow a new approach that considers genetic contributions, which have largely been ignored before. Using genomewide polygenic scores (EA3) from the most recent genomewide association study of years of education in 1.1 million individuals, we tested for genetic influence on early adult decisions in a United Kingdom-representative sample of 5,839 at 18 years of age. EA3 significantly predicted educational trajectories in early adulthood (Nagelkerke R2 = 10%), χ2(4) = 571.77, p < .001, indicating that young adults partly adapt their aspirations to their genetic propensities-a concept known as gene-environment correlation. Compared to attending university, a 1 standard deviation increase in EA3 was associated on average with a 51% reduction in the odds of pursuing full-time employment (OR = .47; 95% CI [.43, .51]); an apprenticeship (OR = .49; 95% CI [.45, .54]); or not going in education, employment, or training (OR = .50; 95% CI [.41, .60]). EA3 associations were attenuated when controlling for previous academic achievement and family socioeconomic status. Overall this research illustrates how DNA-based predictions offer novel opportunities for studying the sociodevelopmental structures of life outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).


Assuntos
Sucesso Acadêmico , DNA/genética , Interação Gene-Ambiente , Fatores Socioeconômicos , Adolescente , Emprego/estatística & dados numéricos , Feminino , Genética Comportamental , Humanos , Masculino , Pais/psicologia , Reino Unido , Adulto Jovem
11.
Sci Rep ; 9(1): 1976, 2019 Feb 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30760829

RESUMO

Neuropsychiatric disease has polygenic determinants but is often precipitated by environmental pressures, including adverse perinatal events. However, the way in which genetic vulnerability and early-life adversity interact remains obscure. We hypothesised that the extreme environmental stress of prematurity would promote neuroanatomic abnormality in individuals genetically vulnerable to psychiatric disorders. In 194 unrelated infants (104 males, 90 females), born before 33 weeks of gestation (mean gestational age 29.7 weeks), we combined Magnetic Resonance Imaging with a polygenic risk score (PRS) for five psychiatric pathologies to test the prediction that: deep grey matter abnormalities frequently seen in preterm infants are associated with increased polygenic risk for psychiatric illness. The variance explained by the PRS in the relative volumes of four deep grey matter structures (caudate nucleus, thalamus, subthalamic nucleus and lentiform nucleus) was estimated using linear regression both for the full, mixed ancestral, cohort and a subsample of European infants. Psychiatric PRS was negatively associated with lentiform volume in the full cohort (ß = -0.24, p = 8 × 10-4) and a European subsample (ß = -0.24, p = 8 × 10-3). Genetic variants associated with neuropsychiatric disease increase vulnerability to abnormal lentiform development after perinatal stress and are associated with neuroanatomic changes in the perinatal period.

12.
PLoS Genet ; 14(11): e1007757, 2018 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30457987

RESUMO

The parental feeding practices (PFPs) of excessive restriction of food intake ('restriction') and pressure to increase food consumption ('pressure') have been argued to causally influence child weight in opposite directions (high restriction causing overweight; high pressure causing underweight). However child weight could also 'elicit' PFPs. A novel approach is to investigate gene-environment correlation between child genetic influences on BMI and PFPs. Genome-wide polygenic scores (GPS) combining BMI-associated variants were created for 10,346 children (including 3,320 DZ twin pairs) from the Twins Early Development Study using results from an independent genome-wide association study meta-analysis. Parental 'restriction' and 'pressure' were assessed using the Child Feeding Questionnaire. Child BMI standard deviation scores (BMI-SDS) were calculated from children's height and weight at age 10. Linear regression and fixed family effect models were used to test between- (n = 4,445 individuals) and within-family (n = 2,164 DZ pairs) associations between the GPS and PFPs. In addition, we performed multivariate twin analyses (n = 4,375 twin pairs) to estimate the heritabilities of PFPs and the genetic correlations between BMI-SDS and PFPs. The GPS was correlated with BMI-SDS (ß = 0.20, p = 2.41x10-38). Consistent with the gene-environment correlation hypothesis, child BMI GPS was positively associated with 'restriction' (ß = 0.05, p = 4.19x10-4), and negatively associated with 'pressure' (ß = -0.08, p = 2.70x10-7). These results remained consistent after controlling for parental BMI, and after controlling for overall family contributions (within-family analyses). Heritabilities for 'restriction' (43% [40-47%]) and 'pressure' (54% [50-59%]) were moderate-to-high. Twin-based genetic correlations were moderate and positive between BMI-SDS and 'restriction' (rA = 0.28 [0.23-0.32]), and substantial and negative between BMI-SDS and 'pressure' (rA = -0.48 [-0.52 - -0.44]. Results suggest that the degree to which parents limit or encourage children's food intake is partly influenced by children's genetic predispositions to higher or lower BMI. These findings point to an evocative gene-environment correlation in which heritable characteristics in the child elicit parental feeding behaviour.

13.
Br J Ophthalmol ; 2018 Nov 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30401676

RESUMO

PURPOSE: Myopia is an increasingly prevalent condition globally. A greater understanding of contemporaneous, early life factors associated with myopia risk is urgently required, particularly in younger onset myopia as this correlates with higher severity and increased complications in adult life. METHODS: Analysis of a subset of the longitudinal, UK-based Twins Early Development Study (n=1991) recruited at birth between 1994 and 1996. Subjective refraction was obtained from the twin's optometrists; mean age 16.3 years (SD 1.7). Myopia was defined as mean spherical equivalent ≤-0.75 dioptres. A life course epidemiology approach was used to appropriately weight candidate myopia risk factors during critical periods of eye growth. Adjusted ORs for myopia were estimated using multivariable logistic regression models at each life stage, together with variance explained (r2) and area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (AUROC) statistic of predictive models. RESULTS: Factors significantly associated with myopia included level of maternal education (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.59), fertility treatment (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.92), summer birth (OR 1.93, 95% CI 1.28 to 2.90) and hours spent playing computer games (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.06). The total variance explained by this model was 4.4 % (p<0.001) and the AUROC was 0.68 (95% CI 0.64 to 0.72). Consistent associations were observed with socioeconomic status, educational attainment, reading enjoyment and cognitive variables, particularly verbal cognition, at multiple points over the life course. CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies known and novel associations with myopia during childhood development; associated factors identified in early life reflect sociological and lifestyle trends such as rates of maternal education, fertility treatment, early schooling and computer games.

14.
Transl Psychiatry ; 8(1): 223, 2018 Oct 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30333497

RESUMO

Twin studies have shown that emotional problems (anxiety and depression) in childhood and adolescence are moderately heritable (~20-50%). In contrast, DNA-based 'SNP heritability' estimates are generally <15% and non-significant. One notable feature of emotional problems is that they can be somewhat transient, but the moderate stability seen across time and across raters is predominantly influenced by stable genetic influences. This suggests that by capturing what is in common across time and across raters, we might be more likely to tap into any underlying genetic vulnerability. We therefore hypothesised that a phenotype capturing the pervasive stability of emotional problems would show higher heritability. We fitted single-factor latent trait models using 12 emotional problems measures across ages 7, 12 and 16, rated by parents, teachers and children themselves in the Twins Early Development Study sample. Twin and SNP heritability estimates for stable emotional problems (N = 6110 pairs and 6110 unrelated individuals, respectively) were compared to those for individual measures. Twin heritability increased from 45% on average for individual measures to 76% (se = 0.023) by focusing on stable trait variance. SNP heritability rose from 5% on average (n.s.) to 14% (se = 0.049; p = 0.002). Heritability was also higher for stable within-rater composites. Polygenic scores for both adult anxiety and depression significantly explained variance in stable emotional problems (0.4%; p = 0.0001). The variance explained was more than in most individual measures. Stable emotional problems also showed significant genetic correlation with adult depression and anxiety (average = 52%). These results demonstrate the value of examining stable emotional problems in gene-finding and prediction studies.

15.
Sci Rep ; 8(1): 14579, 2018 Oct 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30337657

RESUMO

University success, which includes enrolment in and achievement at university, as well as quality of the university, have all been linked to later earnings, health and wellbeing. However, little is known about the causes and correlates of differences in university-level outcomes. Capitalizing on both quantitative and molecular genetic data, we perform the first genetically sensitive investigation of university success with a UK-representative sample of 3,000 genotyped individuals and 3,000 twin pairs. Twin analyses indicate substantial additive genetic influence on university entrance exam achievement (57%), university enrolment (51%), university quality (57%) and university achievement (46%). We find that environmental effects tend to be non-shared, although the shared environment is substantial for university enrolment. Furthermore, using multivariate twin analysis, we show moderate to high genetic correlations between university success variables (0.27-0.76). Analyses using DNA alone also support genetic influence on university success. Indeed, a genome-wide polygenic score, derived from a 2016 genome-wide association study of years of education, predicts up to 5% of the variance in each university success variable. These findings suggest young adults select and modify their educational experiences in part based on their genetic propensities and highlight the potential for DNA-based predictions of real-world outcomes, which will continue to increase in predictive power.

16.
Transl Psychiatry ; 8(1): 205, 2018 Oct 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30279410

RESUMO

It has recently been proposed that a single dimension, called the p factor, can capture a person's liability to mental disorder. Relevant to the p hypothesis, recent genetic research has found surprisingly high genetic correlations between pairs of psychiatric disorders. Here, for the first time, we compare genetic correlations from different methods and examine their support for a genetic p factor. We tested the hypothesis of a genetic p factor by applying principal component analysis to matrices of genetic correlations between major psychiatric disorders estimated by three methods-family study, genome-wide complex trait analysis, and linkage-disequilibrium score regression-and on a matrix of polygenic score correlations constructed for each individual in a UK-representative sample of 7 026 unrelated individuals. All disorders loaded positively on a first unrotated principal component, which accounted for 57, 43, 35, and 22% of the variance respectively for the four methods. Our results showed that all four methods provided strong support for a genetic p factor that represents the pinnacle of the hierarchical genetic architecture of psychopathology.

17.
PLoS One ; 13(9): e0202543, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30188925

RESUMO

Twin and adoption studies find that non-shared environmental (NSE) factors account for variance in most behavioural traits and offer an explanation for why genetically identical individuals differ. Using data from a qualitative hypothesis-generating study we designed a quantitative measure of pupils' non-shared experiences at the end of formal compulsory education (SENSES: Student Experiences of Non-Shared Environment Scales). In Study 1 SENSES was administered to n = 117 16-19 year old twin pairs. Exploratory Factor Analysis yielded a 49-item 10 factor solution which explained 63% of the variance in responses. SENSES showed good internal consistency and convergent and divergent validity. In Study 2 this factor structure was confirmed with data from n = 926 twin pairs and external validity was demonstrated via significant correlations between 9 SENSES factors and both public examination performance and life satisfaction. These studies lend preliminary support to SENSES but further research is required to confirm its psychometric properties; to assess whether individual differences in SENSES are explained by NSE effects; and to explore whether SENSES explains variance in achievement and wellbeing.

18.
Nat Hum Behav ; 2(4): 269-275, 2018 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29881783

RESUMO

The etiology of individual differences in educational attainment and occupational status includes genetic as well as environmental factors1-5 and can change as societies change3,6,7. The extent of genetic influence on these social outcomes can be viewed as an index of success in achieving meritocratic values of equality of opportunity by rewarding talent and hard work, which are to a large extent influenced by genetic factors, rather than rewarding environmentally driven privilege. To the extent that the end of the Soviet Union and the independence of Estonia led to an increase in meritocratic selection of individuals in education and occupation, genetic influence should be higher in the post-Soviet era than in the Soviet era. Here we confirmed this hypothesis: DNA differences (single-nucleotide polymorphisms, SNPs) explained twice as much variance in educational attainment and occupational status in the post-Soviet era compared to the Soviet era in both polygenic score analyses and SNP heritability analyses of 12 500 Estonians. This is the first demonstration of a change in the extent of genetic influence in the same population following a massive and abrupt social change - in this case, the shift from a communist to a capitalist society.

19.
Dev Sci ; 21(6): e12694, 2018 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29920866

RESUMO

School performance is one of the most stable and heritable psychological characteristics. Notwithstanding, monozygotic twins (MZ), who have identical genotypes, differ in school performance. These MZ differences result from non-shared environments that do not contribute to the similarity within twin pairs. Because to date few non-shared environmental factors have been reliably associated with MZ differences in school performance, they are thought to be idiosyncratic and due to chance, suggesting that the effect of non-shared environments on MZ differences are age- and trait-specific. In a sample of 2768 MZ twin pairs, we found first that MZ differences in school performance were moderately stable from age 12 through 16, with differences at the ages 12 and 14 accounting for 20% of the variance in MZ differences at age 16. Second, MZ differences in school performance correlated positively with MZ differences across 16 learning-related variables, including measures of intelligence, personality and school attitudes, with the twin who scored higher on one also scoring higher on the other measures. Finally, MZ differences in the 16 learning-related variables accounted for 22% of the variance in MZ differences in school performance at age 16. These findings suggest that, unlike for other psychological domains, non-shared environmental factors affect school performance in systematic ways that have long-term and generalist influence. Our findings should motivate the search for non-shared environmental factors responsible for the stable and systematic effects on children's differences in school performance. A video abstract of this article can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/0bw2Fl_HGq0.

20.
Psychol Med ; : 1-9, 2018 Jun 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29886849

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Maternal smoking during pregnancy (MSDP) has been linked to offspring's externalizing problems. It has been argued that socio-demographic factors (e.g. maternal age and education), co-occurring environmental risk factors, or pleiotropic genetic effects may account for the association between MSDP and later outcomes. This study provides a comprehensive investigation of the association between MSDP and a single harmonized component of externalizing: aggressive behaviour, measured throughout childhood and adolescence. METHODS: Data came from four prospective twin cohorts - Twins Early Development Study, Netherlands Twin Register, Childhood and Adolescent Twin Study of Sweden, and FinnTwin12 study - who collaborate in the EU-ACTION consortium. Data from 30 708 unrelated individuals were analysed. Based on item level data, a harmonized measure of aggression was created at ages 9-10; 12; 14-15 and 16-18. RESULTS: MSDP predicted aggression in childhood and adolescence. A meta-analysis across the four samples found the independent effect of MSDP to be 0.4% (r = 0.066), this remained consistent when analyses were performed separately by sex. All other perinatal factors combined explained 1.1% of the variance in aggression across all ages and samples (r = 0.112). Paternal smoking and aggressive parenting strategies did not account for the MSDP-aggression association, consistent with the hypothesis of a small direct link between MSDP and aggression. CONCLUSIONS: Perinatal factors, including MSDP, account for a small portion of the variance in aggression in childhood and adolescence. Later experiences may play a greater role in shaping adolescents' aggressive behaviour.

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