Jean-Baptiste Pingault

Jean-Baptiste Pingault
University College London | UCL · Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology

PhD

About

149
Publications
36,677
Reads
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3,625
Citations
Introduction
My research combines statistical innovation with large longitudinal studies spanning birth to adulthood to better understand processes and mechanisms underlying behavioural development. A current focus of my research is causal inference in psychopathology. I use family-based designs (e.g. twins) and innovative methods using DNA information (e.g. Mendelian Randomisation) to identify causal risk factors for psychopathology outcomes.
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - December 2012
October 2009 - October 2016
Independent Researcher
Independent Researcher
Position
  • Marie Curie Fellow

Publications

Publications (149)
Article
Full-text available
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is conceptualized as a neurodevelopmental disorder that is strongly heritable. However, to our knowledge, no study to date has examined the genetic and environmental influences explaining interindividual differences in the developmental course of ADHD symptoms from childhood to adolescence (ie, system...
Article
Full-text available
Psychopathology represents a leading cause of disability worldwide. Effective interventions need to target risk factors that are causally related to psychopathology. In order to distinguish between causal and spurious risk factors, it is critical to account for environmental and genetic confounding. Mendelian randomisation studies use genetic varia...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous prospective studies have shown that children diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at higher risk of long-term substance abuse/dependence. However, there are three important limits to these studies: (a) most did not differentiate the role of hyperactivity and inattention; (b) most did not control for associated...
Article
Full-text available
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a prevalent developmental disorder, associated with a range of long-term impairments. Variation in DNA methylation, an epigenetic mechanism, is implicated in both neurobiological functioning and psychiatric health. However, the potential role of DNA methylation in ADHD symptoms is currently unclear...
Article
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The development of conduct problems in childhood and adolescence is associated with adverse long-term outcomes, including psychiatric morbidity. Although genes constitute a proven factor of stability in conduct problems, less is known regarding their role in conduct problems' developmental course (i.e. systematic age changes, for instance linear in...
Article
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Background DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism involved in human development. Numerous epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) have investigated the associations of DNA methylation at single CpG sites with childhood outcomes. However, the overall contribution of DNA methylation across the genome ( R ² Methylation ) towards childhood phenot...
Preprint
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While large-scale volunteer-based studies such as the UK Biobank (UKBB) have become the cornerstone of genetic epidemiology, the study participants are rarely representative of their target population. Here, we aim to evaluate the impact of non-random participation in the UKBB, and to pin down areas of research that are particularly susceptible to...
Article
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Previous genetically informed studies have uncovered likely causal relationships between mental health problems and self-harm but resulting causal estimates may be biased due to unmediated pleiotropy. By fitting Mendelian Randomization - Direction of Causation (MR-DoC) models that explicitly model pleiotropy, we investigated the effect of four quan...
Article
Background Consumption of nicotine, alcohol and cannabis commonly co-occurs, which is thought to partly stem from a common heritable liability to substance involvement. Methods To elucidate its genetic architecture, we modelled a common liability, inferred from genetic correlations among six measures of dependence and frequency of use of nicotine,...
Article
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Background: Theoretical models of the development of childhood externalizing disorders emphasize the role of parents. Empirical studies have not been able to identify specific aspects of parental behaviors explaining a considerable proportion of the observed individual differences in externalizing problems. The problem is complicated by the contri...
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Background: Chaotic home environments may contribute to children's attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. However, ADHD genetic risk may also influence household chaos. This study investigated whether children in chaotic households had more ADHD symptoms, if mothers and children with higher ADHD genetic risk lived in more chaoti...
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Background The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all our lives, not only through the infection itself but also through the measures taken to control the spread of the virus (e.g. lockdown). Aims Here, we investigated how the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented lockdown affected the mental health of young adults in England and Wales. Method We compar...
Article
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Estimates from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of unrelated individuals capture effects of inherited variation (direct effects), demography (population stratification, assortative mating) and relatives (indirect genetic effects). Family-based GWAS designs can control for demographic and indirect genetic effects, but large-scale family datase...
Article
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Bullying victimisation is a prevalent stressor associated with serious health problems. To inform intervention strategies, it is important to understand children’s patterns of involvement in bullying victimisation and perpetration across development, and identify early risk factors for these developmental trajectories. We analysed data from the Mil...
Article
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The increasing availability of genotype data in longitudinal population‐ and family‐based samples provides opportunities for using polygenic scores (PGS) to study developmental questions in child and adolescent psychology and psychiatry. Here, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of how PGS can be generated and implemented in developmental ps...
Article
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Background: Genetic influences are ubiquitous as virtually all phenotypes and most exposures typically classified as environmental have been found to be heritable. A polygenic score summarises the associations between millions of genetic variants and an outcome in a single value for each individual. Ever lowering costs have enabled the genotyping...
Article
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Background: Retrospective self-reports of childhood trauma are associated with a greater risk of psychopathology in adulthood than prospective measures of trauma. Heritable reporter characteristics are anticipated to account for part of this association, whereby genetic predisposition to certain traits influences both the likelihood of self-report...
Article
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Analysis of secondary data sources (such as cohort studies, survey data, and administrative records) has the potential to provide answers to science and society’s most pressing questions. However, researcher biases can lead to questionable research practices in secondary data analysis, which can distort the evidence base. While pre-registration can...
Preprint
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Previous Mendelian randomization (MR) studies using population samples (population-MR) have provided evidence for beneficial effects of educational attainment on health outcomes in adulthood. However, estimates from these studies may have been susceptible to bias from population stratification, assortative mating and indirect genetic effects due to...
Preprint
Full-text available
Addiction to nicotine, alcohol and cannabis commonly co-occurs, which is thought to partly stem from a common heritable liability. To elucidate its genetic architecture, we modelled the common liability to addiction, inferred from genetic correlations among six measures of dependence and frequency of use of nicotine, alcohol and cannabis. Forty-two...
Preprint
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all our lives, not only through the infection itself, but also through the measures taken to control the virus spread (e.g., lockdown). Here we investigated how the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented lockdown affected the mental health of young adults in England and Wales. We compared the mental health symptoms o...
Article
Similarities between parents and offspring arise from nature and nurture. Beyond this simple dichotomy, recent genomic studies have uncovered “genetic nurture” effects, whereby parental genotypes influence offspring outcomes via environmental pathways rather than genetic transmission. Such genetic nurture effects also need to be accounted for to ac...
Article
Background: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are two highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorders. Several lines of evidence point towards the presence of shared genetic factors underlying ASD and ADHD. We conducted genomic analyses of common risk variants (i.e. single nucleotide polymorphisms, SN...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism involved in human development. Numerous epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) have investigated the associations of DNA methylation at single CpG sites with childhood outcomes. However, the overall contribution of DNA methylation across the genome (R2Methylation) towards childhood phenotype...
Article
Background: DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism involved in human development. Numerous epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) have investigated the associations of DNA methylation at single CpG sites with childhood outcomes. However, the overall contribution of DNA methylation across the genome (R2Methylation) towards childhood phenotype...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Evidence suggests that retrospective self-reports of childhood trauma are associated with a greater risk of psychopathology in adulthood than are prospective measures. However, it remains unclear why retrospectively reported trauma confers a greater risk for poor outcomes. Investigating the heritable characteristics and environmental ad...
Article
Full-text available
Associations between exposures and outcomes reported in epidemiological studies are typically unadjusted for genetic confounding. We propose a two-stage approach for estimating the degree to which such observed associations can be explained by genetic confounding. First, we assess attenuation of exposure effects in regressions controlling for incre...
Article
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Aims Low birth weight is associated with adult mental health, cognitive, and socioeconomic problems. However, the causal nature of these associations remains difficult to establish due to confounding. We aimed to estimate the contribution of birth weight to adult mental health, cognitive, and socioeconomic outcomes using two-sample Mendelian random...
Preprint
Background Comorbidity between psychopathologies may be attributed to genetic and environmentaldifferences between people as well as causal processes within individuals, where onepathology increases risk for another. Disentangling between-person (co)variance fromwithin-person processes of psychopathology dimensions across childhood could shed light...
Article
Full-text available
There is an extensive body of literature linking ADHD to overweight and obesity. Research indicates that impulsivity features of ADHD account for a degree of this overlap. The neural and polygenic correlates of this association have not been thoroughly examined. In participants of the IMAGEN study, we found that impulsivity symptoms and body mass i...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated how the COVID-19 crisis and the extraordinary experience of lockdown affected young adults in England and Wales psychologically. One month after lockdown commenced (T2), we assessed 30 psychological and behavioural traits in more than 4000 twins in their mid-twenties and compared their responses to the same traits assessed in 2018 (...
Preprint
Full-text available
Importance: Knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the intergenerational transmission of risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms can inform psychosocial interventions. Objective: To investigate whether parental genetic risk factors associate with their children's ADHD symptoms due to genetic transmission of risk or due to...
Article
Background Low birth weight is associated with adult mental health, cognitive and socioeconomic problems. However, the causal nature of these associations remains difficult to establish owing to confounding. Aims To estimate the contribution of birth weight to adult mental health, cognitive and socioeconomic outcomes using two-sample Mendelian ran...
Article
Full-text available
Background Self-harm is a major health concern, not only as a signal of distress but also as a strong predictor of later suicide. Self-harm can be further refined into suicidal self-harm (SSH, i.e. suicide attempt) and non-suicidal self-harm (NSSH). Understanding the aetiologies of NSSH and SSH can help inform suicide prevention strategies. Using a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Child educational development is associated with major psychological, social, economic and health milestones throughout the life course. Understanding the early origins of educational inequalities and their reproduction across generations is therefore crucial. Recent genomic studies provide novel insights in this regard, uncovering “genetic nurture...
Article
Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and body mass index (BMI) are associated. However, it remains unclear whether this association reflects causal relationships in either direction or confounding. Here, we implemented genetically informed methods to examine bidirectional causality and potential confounding. Methods Three gen...
Article
Full-text available
Polygenic scores are increasingly powerful predictors of educational achievement. It is unclear, however, how sets of polygenic scores, which partly capture environmental effects, perform jointly with sets of environmental measures, which are themselves heritable, in prediction models of educational achievement. Here, for the first time, we systema...
Preprint
Full-text available
Protecting against researcher biases – both conscious and unconscious – can help to ensure robust findings and correct inferences in epidemiology. While pre-registration can be an effective way to achieve this, it brings several challenges for researchers analysing existing datasets. Here we describe these challenges, and propose solutions and alte...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals most often use several rather than one substance among alcohol, cigarettes or cannabis. This widespread co‐occurring use of multiple substances is thought to stem from a common liability that is partly genetic in origin. Genetic risk may indirectly contribute to a common liability to substance use through genetically influenced mental h...
Article
Full-text available
Background Identifying causal risk factors for self-harm is essential to inform preventive interventions. Epidemiological studies have identified risk factors associated with self-harm, but these associations can be subject to confounding. By implementing genetically informed methods to better account for confounding, this study aimed to better ide...
Article
Full-text available
Background: In England, all state-funded schools are inspected by an independent government agency, the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted). Inspections aim to hold schools accountable and to promote the improvement of education, with the results made available to the public. Ofsted reports intend to index sc...
Preprint
Full-text available
We investigated how the COVID-19 crisis and the extraordinary experience of lockdown affected young adults in England and Wales psychologically. One month after lockdown commenced (T2), we assessed 30 psychological and behavioural traits in 4,000 twins in their mid-twenties and compared their responses to the same traits assessed in 2018 (T1). Mean...
Article
Full-text available
Background The rise of social media use in young people has sparked concern about the impact of cyber-victimisation on mental health. Although cyber-victimisation is associated with mental health problems, it is not known whether such associations reflect genetic and environmental confounding. Methods We used the co-twin control design to test the...
Article
Full-text available
Background This study examined the genetic and environmental influences underlying baseline level and developmental course of callous–unemotional (CU) traits across childhood and adolescence. Methods The data on 8,958 twin pairs (3,108 MZ twin pairs and 5,850 DZ twin pairs) from the Twins Early Development Study were analysed. CU traits were asses...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Several lines of evidence point toward the presence of shared genetic factors underlying Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have yet to identify risk variants (i.e. Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms, SNPs) shared by ADHD and ASD. Methods Two c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Body Mass Index (BMI) are associated. However, it remains unclear whether this association reflects causal relationships in either direction, or confounding. Here, we implemented genetically informed methods to examine bidirectional causality and potential confounding. Methods Three gen...
Article
Full-text available
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder. However, no study has examined genetic and environmental influences in the longitudinal developmental course of ADHD symptoms in a non-Western population. This study investigated changes of genetic and environmental influences and their contributions...
Article
Objective: The study aimed to identify early childhood risk factors for de novo and subthreshold late-onset ADHD. Method: ADHD symptoms were assessed in 9,875 participants from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) using the Conners’ Parent Rating Scale at ages 8, 12, 14, and 16 years, along with other childhood characteristics and adolescent ou...
Preprint
Full-text available
Polygenic scores are increasingly powerful predictors of educational achievement. It is unclear, however, how sets of polygenic scores, which partly capture environmental effects, perform jointly with sets of environmental measures, which are themselves heritable, in prediction models of educational achievement. Here, for the first time, we systema...
Preprint
Background: In the UK, all state-funded schools are inspected by an independent government agency, the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). Inspections aim to hold schools accountable and to promote the improvement of education, with the results made available to the public. Ofsted reports intend to index school quality but their influence o...
Article
Full-text available
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 acro...
Article
Full-text available
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...