[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background The impact of longitudinal psychiatric comorbidity, parenting and social characteristics on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication use is still poorly understood. Aims To assess the baseline and longitudinal influences of behavioural and environmental factors on ADHD medication use. Method Survival regressions with time-dependent covariates were used to model data from a population-based longitudinal birth cohort. The sample (n = 1920) was assessed from age 5 months to 10 years. Measures of children's psychiatric symptoms, parenting practices and social characteristics available at baseline and during follow-up were used to identify individual and family-level features associated with subsequent use of ADHD medication. Results Use of ADHD medication ranged from 0.2 to 8.6% between ages 3.5 to 10 years. Hyperactivity-inattention was the strongest predictor of medication use (hazard ratio (HR) = 2.75, 95% CI 2.35-3.22). Among all social variables examined, low maternal education increased the likelihood of medication use (HR = 2.09, 95% CI 1.38-3.18) whereas immigrant status lowered this likelihood (HR = 0.40, 95% CI 0.17-0.92). Conclusions Beyond ADHD symptoms, the likelihood of receiving ADHD medication is predicted by social variables and not by psychiatric comorbidity or by parenting. This emphasises the need to improve global interventions by offering the same therapeutic opportunities (including medication) as those received by the rest of the population to some subgroups (i.e. immigrants) and by diminishing possible unnecessary prescriptions.
The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science 08/2014; · 6.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heart rate variability (HRV) is a non-invasive quantitative marker of cardiac autonomic function derived from continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings. Normative HRV values and development factors have not been established in pediatric populations. The objective was to derive referent time- and frequency-domain HRV values for a population-based sample of children. Children aged 9-11 years (N = 1,036) participated in the Québec Longitudinal Study of Child Development cohort cardiovascular health screening. Registered nurses measured anthropometrics (height, weight) and children wore an ambulatory Holter monitor to continuously record an ECG signal. HRV variables included time (SDNN, pNN50, RMSSD, SDANN) and frequency (HF, LF, LF/HF ratio) domain variables. Normative HRV values, stratified by age, sex, and heart rate, are presented. Greater heart rate (β avg = -0.60, R avg (2) = 0.39), pubertal maturation (β avg = -0.11, R avg (2) = 0.01), later ECG recording times (β avg = -0.19, R avg (2) = 0.07), and higher diastolic blood pressure (β avg = -0.11, R avg (2) = 0.01) were significantly associated with reduced HRV in 10-year-old children. The normative HRV values permit clinicians to monitor, describe, and establish pediatric nosologies in primary care and research settings, which may improve treatment of diseases associated with HRV in children. By better understanding existing values, the practical applicability of HRV among clinicians will be enhanced. Lastly, developmental (e.g., puberty) and procedural (e.g., recording time) factors were identified that will improve recording procedures and interpretation of results.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this 16-year longitudinal study, a new trajectory estimation approach was used to verify whether the developmental course of childhood inattention significantly predicted functional impairment. A rising childhood inattention trajectory significantly predicted graduation failure (OR: 1.76 [1.32-2.34]) independently of averaged inattention levels. Rising inattention is, in itself, important for prognosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Research on associations between children's prosocial behaviour and mental health has provided mixed evidence. The present study sought to describe and predict the joint development of prosocial behaviour with externalizing and internalizing problems (physical aggression, anxiety and depression) from 2 to 11 years of age.Method
Data were drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY). Biennial prosocial behaviour, physical aggression, anxiety and depression maternal ratings were sought for 10,700 children aged 0 to 9 years at the first assessment point.ResultsWhile a negative association was observed between prosociality and physical aggression, more complex associations emerged with internalizing problems. Being a boy decreased the likelihood of membership in the high prosocial trajectory. Maternal depression increased the likelihood of moderate aggression, but also of joint high prosociality/low aggression. Low family income predicted the joint development of high prosociality with high physical aggression and high depression.Conclusions
Individual differences exist in the association of prosocial behaviour with mental health. While high prosociality tends to co-occur with low levels of mental health problems, high prosociality and internalizing/externalizing problems can co-occur in subgroups of children. Child, mother and family characteristics are predictive of individual differences in prosocial behaviour and mental health development. Mechanisms underlying these associations warrant future investigations.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 04/2014; · 5.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several authors consider high and frequent conflicts between friends during childhood as a serious risk for subsequent conduct problems such as generalized physical aggression toward others (e.g., Kupersmidt, Burchinal, & Patterson, 1995; Sebanc, 2003). Although it seems logical to assume that friendship conflict could have some negative consequences on children's behaviors, some scholars have suggested that a certain amount of conflict between friends may actually promote social adjustment (e.g., Laursen & Pursell, 2009). The aim of this study was to investigate the role of friendship conflict in regard to the development of generalized physical aggression toward others in the early school years (i.e., from kindergarten to Grade 1), as well as the moderating role of relational (i.e., shared positive affect and dyadic conflict resolution skills) and personal (i.e., children's sex and genetic liability for aggression) characteristics in this context. The sample included 745 twins assessed through teacher, peer, child, and friend ratings in kindergarten and Grade 1. Friendship conflict in kindergarten was linearly related to an increase in boys' but not girls' generalized physical aggression. However, shared positive affect and conflict resolution skills mitigated the prospective associations between friendship conflict and generalized physical aggression. These results were independent of children's sex, genetic risk for physical aggression, and initial levels of generalized physical aggression in kindergarten. Fostering a positive relationship between friends at school entry may buffer against the risk associated with experiencing friendship conflict. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little empirical evidence exists on the comparability of heart rate variability (HRV) quantification methods commonly used in infants. The aim was to compare three methods of HRV estimation: (1) fast Fourier transform (FFT), (2) autoregressive (AR), and (3) the Porges methods. HRV was estimated in 63 healthy 5-month-old infants. HRV parameters were strongly correlated across methods (.92-.99) but yielded significantly different mean HRV estimates (Porges method > FFT > AR). There was no systematic bias over the whole range of values between the two spectral approaches, while differences between the Porges method and the spectral estimates were systematically greater for larger values. Additional comparative studies are needed to explore the between-method agreement across a range of physiological conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Physical aggression (PA) tends to have its onset in infancy and to increase rapidly in frequency. Very little is known about the genetic and environmental etiology of PA development during early childhood. We investigated the temporal pattern of genetic and environmental etiology of PA during this crucial developmental period.
Psychological Medicine 01/2014; · 5.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High frequency of physical aggression is the central feature of severe conduct disorder and is associated with a wide range of social, mental and physical health problems. We have previously tested the hypothesis that differential DNA methylation signatures in peripheral T cells are associated with a chronic aggression trajectory in males. Despite the fact that sex differences appear to play a pivotal role in determining the development, magnitude and frequency of aggression, most of previous studies focused on males, so little is known about female chronic physical aggression. We therefore tested here whether or not there is a signature of physical aggression in female DNA methylation and, if there is, how it relates to the signature observed in males.
Methylation profiles were created using the method of methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) followed by microarray hybridization and statistical and bioinformatic analyses on T cell DNA obtained from adult women who were found to be on a chronic physical aggression trajectory (CPA) between 6 and 12 years of age compared to women who followed a normal physical aggression trajectory. We confirmed the existence of a well-defined, genome-wide signature of DNA methylation associated with chronic physical aggression in the peripheral T cells of adult females that includes many of the genes similarly associated with physical aggression in the same cell types of adult males.
This study in a small number of women presents preliminary evidence for a genome-wide variation in promoter DNA methylation that associates with CPA in women that warrant larger studies for further verification. A significant proportion of these associations were previously observed in men with CPA supporting the hypothesis that the epigenetic signature of early life aggression in females is composed of a component specific to females and another common to both males and females.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e86822. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic physical aggression (CPA) is characterized by frequent use of physical aggression from early childhood to adolescence. Observed in approximately 5% of males, CPA is associated with early childhood adverse environments and long-term negative consequences. Alterations in DNA methylation, a covalent modification of DNA that regulates genome function, have been associated with early childhood adversity.
To test the hypothesis that a trajectory of chronic physical aggression during childhood is associated with a distinct DNA methylation profile during adulthood.
We analyzed genome-wide promoter DNA methylation profiles of T cells from two groups of adult males assessed annually for frequency of physical aggression between 6 and 15 years of age: a group with CPA and a control group. Methylation profiles covering the promoter regions of 20 000 genes and 400 microRNAs were generated using MeDIP followed by hybridization to microarrays.
In total, 448 distinct gene promoters were differentially methylated in CPA. Functionally, many of these genes have previously been shown to play a role in aggression and were enriched in biological pathways affected by behavior. Their locations in the genome tended to form clusters spanning millions of bases in the genome.
This study provides evidence of clustered and genome-wide variation in promoter DNA methylation in young adults that associates with a history of chronic physical aggression from 6 to 15 years of age. However, longitudinal studies of methylation during early childhood will be necessary to determine if and how this methylation variation in T cells DNA plays a role in early development of chronic physical aggression.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e89839. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eating behaviors during childhood are related both to children's diet quality and to their weight status. A better understanding of the determinants of eating behavior during childhood is essential for carrying out effective dietary interventions.
We assessed the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to variations in selected eating behaviors in early and late childhood. Information on eating behaviors came from questionnaires administered to parents of children participating in the Quebec Newborn Twin Study when the twins were 2.5 and 9 years old (n = 692 children). Dichotomous variables were derived and analyzed using structural equation modeling, as part of a classic twin study design. We performed univariate and bivariate longitudinal analyses to quantify sources of variation and covariation across ages, for several eating behavior traits.
We found moderate to strong heritability for traits related to appetite such as eating too much, not eating enough and eating too fast. Univariate analysis estimates varied from 0.71 (95% CI: 0.49, 0.87) to 0.89 (0.75, 0.96) in younger children and from 0.44 (0.18, 0.66) to 0.56 (0.28, 0.78) in older children. Bivariate longitudinal analyses indicated modest to moderate genetic correlations across ages (rA varying from 0.34 to 0.58). Common genetic influences explained 17% to 43% of the phenotypic correlation between 2.5 and 9 years for these appetite-related behaviors. In 9-year-old children, food acceptance traits, such as refusing to eat and being fussy about food, had high heritability estimates, 0.84 (0.63, 0.94) and 0.85 (0.59, 0.96) respectively, while in younger children, the shared environment (i.e., common to both twins) contributed most to phenotypic variance. Variances in meal-pattern-related behaviors were mostly explained by shared environmental influences.
Genetic predispositions explain a large part of the variations in traits related to appetite during childhood, though our results suggest that as children get older, appetite-related behaviors become more sensitive to environmental influences outside the home. Still, for several traits environmental influences shared by twins appear to have the largest relative importance. This finding supports the notion that familial context has considerable potential to influence the development of healthy eating habits throughout childhood.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 12/2013; 10(1):134. · 3.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined whether (a) a genetic disposition for physical health problems increases the risk of peer victimization and (b) peer victimization interacts with genetic vulnerability in explaining physical health problems.
Participants were 167 monozygotic and 119 dizyogtic twin pairs. Physical symptoms were assessed in early childhood and early adolescence. Peer victimization was assessed in middle childhood.
Genetic vulnerability for physical health problems in early childhood was unrelated to later peer victimization, but genetic vulnerability for physical health problems during early adolescence increased the risk of victimization. Victimization did not interact with genetic factors in predicting physical symptoms. Environmental, not genetic, factors had the greatest influence on the development of physical symptoms in victims.
Genetic vulnerability for physical health problems in early adolescence increases the risk of peer victimization. Whether victims suffer a further increase in physical symptoms depends on the presence of protective environmental factors.
Journal of Pediatric Psychology 10/2013; · 2.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study used a genetically informed design to assess the effects of friends' and nonfriends' reticent and dominant behaviors on children's observed social reticence in a competitive situation. Potential gene-environment correlations (rGE) and gene-environment interactions (GxE) in the link between (a) friends' and nonfriends' behaviors and (b) children's social reticence were examined. The sample comprised 466 twin children (i.e., the target children), each of whom was assessed in kindergarten together with a same-sex friend and two nonfriend classmates of either sex. Multilevel regression analyses revealed that children with a genetic disposition for social reticence showed more reticent behavior in the competitive situation and were more likely to affiliate with reticent friends (i.e., rGE). Moreover, a higher level of children's reticent behavior was predicted by their friends' higher social reticence (particularly for girls) and their friends' higher social dominance, independently of children's genetic disposition. Children's social reticence was also predicted by their nonfriends' behaviors. Specifically, children were less reticent when male nonfriends showed high levels of social reticence in the competitive situation, and this was particularly true for children with a genetic disposition for social reticence (i.e., GxE). Moreover, children genetically vulnerable for social reticence seemed to foster dominant behavior in their female nonfriend peers (i.e., rGE). In turn, male nonfriends seemed to be more dominant as soon as the target children were reticent, even if the target children did not have a stable genetic disposition for this behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectif : La Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (SURPS) est un instrument de dépistage des caractéristiques de personnalité qui représentent un risque pour le développement d'une consommation problématique de substances. La SURPS comporte 23 items évaluant 4 dimensions et permet aux intervenants en santé mentale de mieux cibler la prévention. La SURPS a été validée au Canada anglais, au Royaume-Uni, en Chine et au Sri Lanka; l'objectif de cette étude est de valider une traduction française de la SURPS pour des adolescents francophones québécois, en plus d'en tester la sensibilité dans une population clinique. Méthode : Deux cent deux jeunes de 15 ans d'un échantillon communautaire ont répondu à la SURPS et à des mesures de la personnalité et de l'utilisation de substances. La cohérence interne, la solution factorielle et la validité concomitante de l'échelle ont été évaluées. Quarante adolescents (âge moyen de 15,7 ans) présentant un diagnostic psychiatrique ont également répondu à la SURPS et les scores ont été comparés aux normes de l'échantillon communautaire. Résultats : La traduction française de la SURPS démontre une bonne cohérence interne ainsi qu'une solution factorielle à 4 facteurs semblable à la version originale. Ses 4 sous-échelles ont une bonne validité concomitante. De plus, 3 de ses sous-échelles sont corrélées avec des mesures relatives à la consommation de substances psychoactives. Finalement, 95 % des participants de l'échantillon clinique ont été identifiés à risque selon les scores limites de la SURPS. Conclusion : La version française de la SURPS paraît être une mesure valide et sensible pouvant être utilisée auprès d'une population adolescente, québécoise et francophone.
Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie 09/2013; 58(9):538-545. · 2.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adolescent substance use is associated with both earlier childhood behavioural problems and serious lifetime addiction problems later in life.
To examine whether, and through which mechanisms, targeting risk factors in early childhood prevents substance use across adolescence.
Disruptive kindergarten boys (n = 172) living in Montreal were randomly allocated to a preventive intervention and a control condition. The intervention was delivered over 2 years (7-9 years of age) with two main components: (a) social and problem-solving skills training for the boys; and (b) training for parents on effective child-rearing skills.
Adolescent substance use, up to 8 years post-intervention, was reduced in those who received the intervention (d = 0.48-0.70). Of most interest, the intervention effects were explained partly by reductions in impulsivity, antisocial behaviour and affiliation with less deviant peers during pre-adolescence (11-13 years).
Adolescent substance use may be indirectly prevented by selectively targeting childhood risk factors that disrupt the developmental cascade of adolescent risk factors for substance use.
The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science 08/2013; · 6.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most research linking early pubertal development to substance use has focused on the effects of pubertal timing (age at which a certain stage of pubertal development is reached or pubertal status at a particular age-related to the maturation disparity hypothesis), but little research has focused on pubertal tempo (rate of growth through pubertal stages-related to the maturation compression hypothesis). However, both timing and tempo have not only been identified as important components of pubertal development, with different predictors, but have also been shown to be independently associated with other adolescent psychopathologies. Using latent growth-curve modeling, this study examined how pubertal status at age 12 and pubertal tempo (between 11 and 13 years) related to substance use from 15 to 16 years in boys from low socioeconomic backgrounds (N = 871). Results showed that both pubertal status at age 12 and tempo were significant predictors of increased levels of substance use and problems in mid to late adolescence. In an attempt to identify mechanisms that may explain the association between pubertal development and substance use it was found that sensation seeking partially mediated the association between pubertal status at age 12 and substance use behaviors. Impulse control was found to moderate the association sensation seeking had with marijuana use frequency, with high sensation-seeking scores predicting higher marijuana use frequency only at low levels of impulse control. These findings highlight the importance of considering multiple sources of individual variability in the pubertal development of boys and provide support for both the maturational disparity and compression hypotheses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Journal of Abnormal Psychology 08/2013; 122(3):782-96. · 4.86 Impact Factor