Jon Heron

Jon Heron
University of Bristol | UB · School of Social and Community Medicine

Mathematics, University of Manchester

About

362
Publications
41,545
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Introduction
Currently I am getting extremely frustrated with ResearchGate
Additional affiliations
January 2010 - present
University of Bristol
Position
  • Pathways to adolescent substance use

Publications

Publications (362)
Article
Background: Parental depression is common and is a major risk factor for depression in adolescents. Early identification of adolescents at elevated risk of developing major depressive disorder (MDD) in this group could improve early access to preventive interventions. Methods: Using longitudinal data from 337 adolescents at high familial risk of...
Article
Full-text available
Background International research shows the significance and impact of intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA) as a public health issue for young adults. There is a lack of qualitative research exploring pathways to IPVA. Methods The current mixed-methods study used qualitative interviews and analysis of longitudinal cohort data, to explore exp...
Article
Background Mendelian randomization (MR) is a powerful tool through which the causal effects of modifiable exposures on outcomes can be estimated from observational data. Most exposures vary throughout the life course, but MR is commonly applied to one measurement of an exposure (e.g. weight measured once between ages 40 and 60 years). It has been a...
Article
Background High prevalence of parental separation and resulting biological father absence raises important questions regarding its impact on offspring mental health across the life course. We specifically examined whether these relationships vary by sex and the timing of exposure to father absence (early or middle childhood). Methods This study is...
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Background Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the commonest liver condition in the western world and is directly linked to obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Elevated body mass index is regarded as a major risk factor of NAFL (steatosis) and NAFLD fibrosis. Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), we...
Article
Background: Intellectual disability (ID) describes a neurodevelopmental condition involving impaired cognitive and functional ability. Here, we describe a multisource variable of ID using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Methods: The multisource indicator variable for ID was derived from i) IQ scores less than...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Emotional dysregulation may be a risk factor for disordered eating and self-harm in young people, but few prospective studies have assessed these associations long-term, or considered potential mediators. We examined prospective relationships between childhood emotional dysregulation and disordered eating and self-harm in adolescence; an...
Article
Background: In the UK, around one-third of young people are exposed to Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse (IPVA) by 21 years old. However, types of IPVA victimization in this population (psychological, physical, sexual), and their relationship with impact and perpetration are poorly understood. Methods: Participants in a UK birth cohort reporte...
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Full-text available
There is mixed evidence as to the effects of different types of social media use on mental health, but previous research has been platform‐specific and has focused on an oversimplified distinction between active and passive use. This study aimed to identify different underlying subgroups of adolescent social media user based on their pattern of soc...
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Full-text available
Background Previous studies have shown an association between experience of intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA) and depression. Whether this is a causal relationship or explained by prior vulnerability that influences the risk of both IPVA and depression is not known. Methods We analysed data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and...
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Full-text available
Background Young adults and especially those with pre-existing mental health conditions, such as disordered eating and self-harm, appear to be at greater risk of developing metal health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is unclear whether this increased risk is affected by any changes in lockdown restrictions, and whether any lifes...
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Full-text available
Background Psychotic experiences emerge from abnormalities in perception and belief formation, and occur more commonly in those experiencing childhood trauma. Yet, which precise aspects of belief formation are atypical in psychosis is not well understood. We used a computational modelling approach to characterise belief-updating in young adults in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Mendelian randomization (MR) is a powerful tool through which the causal effects of modifiable exposures on outcomes can be estimated from observational data. Most exposures vary throughout the life course, but MR is commonly applied to one measurement of an exposure (e.g., weight measured once between ages 40 and 60). It has been argued...
Article
Full-text available
Characterizing patterns of mental phenomena in epidemiological studies of adolescents can provide insight into the latent organization of psychiatric disorders. This avoids the biases of chronicity and selection inherent in clinical samples, guides models of shared aetiology within psychiatric disorders and informs the development and implementatio...
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Background: There is considerable variability in emotional and behavioural outcomes of children whose mothers experience depression. Few longitudinal studies have examined potential contributions of dimensions of paternal involvement in the association between maternal postnatal depression (PND) and offspring development. Methods: We examined pathw...
Article
Background Psychotic experiences are reported by 5–10% of young people, although only a minority persist and develop into psychotic disorders. It is unclear what characteristics differentiate those with transient psychotic experiences from those with persistent psychotic experiences that are more likely to be of clinical relevance. Aims To investi...
Preprint
Background There is mixed evidence as to the effects of different types of social media use on mental health, but previous research has been platform-specific and has focused on an oversimplified distinction between active and passive use. This study aimed to identify different underlying subgroups of adolescent social media user based on their pat...
Article
Full-text available
Background There is repeated evidence for a prenatal programming effect for the development of offspring depression. However, examination of environmental influences along this pathway is sparse. This study aimed to investigate the direct and indirect effects of pre- and postnatal stress on offspring depression in adulthood, via increased exposure...
Article
Background Depression often first emerges in adolescence and, for many, is a lifelong disorder. The long-term clinical course of depression is highly variable. We aimed to examine the adult outcomes of adolescent-onset trajectories of clinically significant depressive symptoms and to identify factors differentiating trajectories that persist and de...
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Background Adolescent multiple risk behaviour (MRB) is associated with negative outcomes such as police arrests, unemployment and premature mortality and morbidity. What is unknown is whether MRB is associated with socioeconomic status (SES) in adulthood. We test whether adolescent MRB is associated with socioeconomic status (SES) in young adulthoo...
Article
Background Mendelian randomisation uses genetic variants randomly allocated at conception as instrumental variables for an exposure. Methodological advances allow for mediation analysis to be carried out using Mendelian randomisation using either multivariable Mendelian randomisation or two-step Mendelian randomisation. Methods We use simulations...
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Full-text available
Background Childhood maltreatment (CM) has been associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), but the mechanisms of this relationship are not fully understood. We explored the relative contribution of anxiety/depression, smoking, body mass index (BMI) and C-reactive protein (CRP) to the association between CM and CVD in the United Kingdom (UK) and...
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Full-text available
Background The importance of the maternal-infant dyad in the genesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is of increasing interest. The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) showed that at age 24, 1 in 5 had NAFLD measured by transient elastography and controlled attenuation parameter (CAP). Our aim was to investigate the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: High prevalence of parental separation and resulting biological father absence raises important questions regarding its impact on offspring mental health across the life course. However, few studies have examined prospective associations between biological father absence in childhood and risk of offspring depression and depressive sympt...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Aims Having a negative cognitive style may lead someone to feel hopeless about his or her situation and be more likely to engage in coping-motivated drinking. We therefore aimed to investigate the association between cognitive style and drinking to cope. Design Prospective cohort study. Setting The former Avon Health Authority in S...
Article
Background: Maternal postnatal depression (PND) is a risk factor for offspring depression in adulthood. However, few longitudinal studies have examined the role of maternal nurturing parenting behaviours in the association between maternal PND and offspring depression in adulthood. Methods: We examined pathways from maternal PND measured using self...
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Full-text available
Aims Self-harm and eating disorders are often comorbid in clinical samples but their co-occurrence in the general population is unclear. Given that only a small proportion of individuals who self-harm or have disordered eating present to clinical services, and that both self-harm and eating disorders are associated with substantial morbidity and mo...
Article
Full-text available
Background Childhood maltreatment has been consistently associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the mechanisms of this relationship are not yet fully understood. We explored the relative contribution of anxiety/depression, smoking, body mass index (BMI) and inflammation (C-reactive protein, CRP) to the association between childhood m...
Article
Full-text available
Background The association between maternal smoking in pregnancy and offspring intellectual disability (ID) is less well understood than that of smoking and fetal growth restriction. As fetal growth and cognitive development may share similar confounding structures, comparison of the two associations may improve understanding of the causal nature o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Young adults and especially those with pre-existing mental health conditions, such as disordered eating and self-harm, appear to be at greater risk of developing metal health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is unclear whether this increased risk is affected by any changes in lockdown restrictions, and whether any lifes...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Gastrointestinal (GI) problems are common in eating disorders, but it is unclear whether these problems predate the onset of disordered eating. Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) is the most prevalent GI problem of childhood, and this study aimed to explore longitudinal associations between persistent RAP (at ages 7 and 9) and fasting for w...
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Mediation analysis seeks to explain the pathway(s) through which an exposure affects an outcome. Traditional, non-instrumental variable methods for mediation analysis experience a number of methodological difficulties, including bias due to confounding between an exposure, mediator and outcome and measurement error. Mendelian randomisation (MR) can...
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Background: Empirical evidence supporting the distinction between suicide attempt (SA) and non-suicidal self-harm (NSSH) is lacking. Although NSSH is a risk factor for SA, we do not currently know whether these behaviours lie on a continuum of severity, or whether they are discrete outcomes with different aetiologies. We conducted this exploratory...
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Background An estimated 40% of cancer cases in the UK in 2015 were attributable to cancer risk behaviours. Tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, and unprotected sexual intercourse are known causes of cancer and there is strong evidence that physical inactivity is associated with cancer. These cancer risk behaviours co-occur however little...
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Full-text available
Experimental studies support the conventional belief that people behave more aggressively whilst under the influence of alcohol. To examine how these experimental findings manifest in real life situations, this study uses a method for estimating evidence for causality with observational data—‘situational decomposition’ to examine the association be...
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Background The occurrence of early childhood adversity is strongly linked to later self-harm, but there is poor understanding of how this distal risk factor might influence later behaviours. One possible mechanism is through an earlier onset of puberty in children exposed to adversity, since early puberty is associated with an increased risk of ado...
Article
Full-text available
Background Self-harm and eating disorders are often comorbid in clinical samples but their co-occurrence in the general population is unclear. Given that only a small proportion of individuals who self-harm or have disordered eating present to clinical services, and that both self-harm and eating disorders are associated with substantial morbidity...
Article
Full-text available
Childhood trauma is associated with an increased risk of psychosis, but the mechanisms that mediate this relationship are unknown. Exposure to trauma has been hypothesised to lead to cognitive biases that might have causal effects on psychotic symptoms. The literature on whether childhood trauma is associated with psychosis-related cognitive biases...
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Full-text available
Background Although studies have examined the association between tobacco and cannabis use in adolescence with subsequent cognitive functioning, study designs are usually not able to distinguish correlation from causation. Methods Separate patterns of tobacco and cannabis use were derived using longitudinal latent class analysis based on measures...
Article
Background: Approximately one-third of young people in the UK have suffered intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA) on reaching adulthood. We need interventions to prevent IPVA in this population, but there is a lack of evidence on who is at greatest risk. Methods: We analysed questionnaire data from 3,279 participants of the Avon Longitudinal S...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Aims There are concerns that national population‐based estimates of illicit drug use are underestimated. We investigated this by comparing estimates of illicit substance use at age 24 from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) with a birth cohort (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, ALSPAC) and by comparing the S...
Article
Background Previous research suggests that comorbid personality disorder may be associated with a less favourable treatment outcome for individuals with depression and anxiety disorder. However, little is known about whether personality difficulties are associated with treatment outcomes within Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) ser...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: An estimated 40% of cancer cases in the UK in 2015 were attributable to cancer risk behaviours. Tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, and unprotected sexual intercourse are known causes of cancer and there is strong evidence that physical inactivity is associated with cancer. These cancer risk behaviours co-occur however little...
Article
Background: Approximately one-third of young people in the UK have suffered intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA) on reaching adulthood. We need interventions to prevent IPVA in this population, but there is a lack of evidence on who is at greatest risk. Methods: We analysed questionnaire data from 3,279 participants of the Avon Longitudinal S...
Article
Full-text available
Background Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels have been implicated in the pathology of psychotic disorders. We investigated the relationship between childhood PUFA levels and later psychotic experiences (PE's) in a large birth cohort. Methods Plasma levels of Ω-3 and Ω-6 fatty acids (FA's) were assayed at ages 7 and 16 years. PE's...
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Full-text available
Within-individual variability of repeatedly-measured exposures may predict later outcomes: e.g. blood pressure (BP) variability (BPV) is an independent cardiovascular risk factor above and beyond mean BP. Since two-stage methods, known to introduce bias, are typically used to investigate such associations, we introduce a joint modelling approach, e...
Article
Background: We aimed to identify groups of children presenting distinct perinatal adversity profiles and test the association between profiles and later risk of suicide attempt. Methods: Data were from the Québec Longitudinal Study of Child Development (QLSCD, N = 1623), and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC, N = 5734)....
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Most of the evidence on the effects of internet use on mental health derives from cross-sectional research. We set out to explore prospective associations between internet use (hours online and specific internet experiences) and future mental health problems. Methods Participants were 1,431 respondents from the Avon Longitudinal Study o...
Article
Background: Approximately one-third of young people in the UK have suffered intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA) on reaching adulthood. We need interventions to prevent IPVA in this population, but there is a lack of evidence on who is at greatest risk. Methods: We analysed questionnaire data from 3,279 participants of the Avon Longitudinal S...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Childhood maltreatment has been consistently associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the mechanisms of this relationship are not yet fully understood. We explored the relative contribution of anxiety/depression, smoking, body mass index (BMI) and inflammation (C-reactive protein, CRP) to the association between childhood...
Preprint
Full-text available
Self-harm and eating disorders are often comorbid in clinical samples but their co-occurrence in the general population is unclear. We assessed the co-occurrence of self-harm and disordered eating behaviours at age 16 and 24 years in 3384 females and 2326 males from a UK population-based cohort. There was substantial overlap at both time points: al...
Preprint
Full-text available
Importance: Few longitudinal studies have examined the role of maternal nurturing parenting behaviours concerning feeding, crying and sleeping in the association between maternal postnatal depression (PND) and offspring depression in adulthood. Objective: To examine the association between PND and offspring depression at age 24 years and the mediat...
Article
Background It is not clear to what extent associations between schizophrenia, cannabis use and cigarette use are due to a shared genetic etiology. We, therefore, examined whether schizophrenia genetic risk associates with longitudinal patterns of cigarette and cannabis use in adolescence and mediating pathways for any association to inform potentia...
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Full-text available
Importance Cannabis use is consistently linked to poorer mental health outcomes, and there is evidence that use of higher-potency cannabis increases these risks. To date, no studies have described the association between cannabis potency and concurrent mental health in a general population sample or addressed confounding using longitudinal data. O...
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Full-text available
Background A number of studies show that people with psychotic disorders have abnormal belief-updating processes. In a commonly-used decision-making task, the beads task, participants infer which of two jars, each with a different ratio of coloured beads, a presented bead is drawn from, with an option to request further beads before reaching a deci...
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Full-text available
Background Given the global burden of disease of psychotic disorders and the promise of benefit from early intervention, there is an imperative to understand the developmental trajectories from onset of psychotic experiences to clinical disorder and to improve identification of individuals at greatest risk. The aims of this study therefore were: 1)...
Article
Full-text available
Background Trauma exposure is linked to the development of psychotic illnesses, but little is known about potentially modifiable mechanisms underlying this relationship. Despite the high prevalence of PTSD symptoms in psychotic illnesses, only a few studies have examined the role of PTSD as a mediator, and these were all cross-sectional. This study...
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Background At present clinical high-risk states for psychosis are determined by specialist mental health services using clinical tools such as the CAARMS, which largely rely on the detection of attenuated psychotic symptoms. However, the positive predictive value (PPV) of the CAARMS for transition to psychosis is only 25% in help seeking population...
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Background: Both 'early-onset persistent' and 'adolescent-onset' conduct problems (CPs) are associated with alcohol-related problems in emerging adulthood. The escalation of early CPs into criminal behaviour and heavy alcohol consumption prior to emerging adulthood are both likely to be important pathways. Methods: Data were analysed from 3,038...
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Full-text available
Adolescents' engage in new behaviours such as substance use and change others, such as reducing physical activity. Risks to health from these tend to be considered separately. We examined the association between multiple risk behaviours at age 16 years and outcomes in early adulthood. 5591 young people enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Par...
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Full-text available
Background The causal role of inflammatory markers on self-harm and suicidal risk has been studied using observational data, with conflicting results. Confounding and reverse causation can lead to bias, so we appraised question from a genetic perspective to protect against these biases. We measured associations between genetic liability for high le...
Article
Background and Aims There have been few longitudinal studies of association between alcohol use and cognitive functioning in young people. We aimed to examine whether alcohol use is a causal risk factor for deficient cognitive functioning in young adults. Design Linear regression was used to examine the relationship between longitudinal latent cla...