Lars Wichstrøm

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Nidaros, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway

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Publications (115)306.38 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Importance Genome-wide association studies have identified genetic risks for obesity. These genetic risks influence development of obesity partly by accelerating weight gain in childhood. Research is needed to identify mechanisms to inform intervention. Cross-sectional studies suggest appetite traits as a candidate mechanism. Longitudinal studies are needed to test whether appetite traits mediate genetic influences on children’s weight gain.Objective To test whether genetic risk for obesity predicts accelerated weight gain in middle childhood (ages 4-8 years) and whether genetic association with accelerated weight gain is mediated by appetite traits.Design, Setting, and Participants Longitudinal study of a representative birth cohort at the Trondheim Early Secure Study, Trondheim, Norway, enrolled at age 4 years during 2007 to 2008, with follow-ups at ages 6 and 8 years. Participants were sampled from all children born in 2003 or 2004 who attended regular community health checkups for 4-year-olds (97.2% attendance; 82.0% consent rate, n = 2475). Nine hundred ninety-five children participated at age 4 years, 795 at age 6 years, and 699 at age 8 years. Analyses included 652 children with genotype, adiposity, and appetite data.Main Outcomes and Measures Outcomes were body mass index and body-fat phenotypes measured from anthropometry (ages 4, 6, and 8 years) and bioelectrical impedance (ages 6 and 8 years). Genetic risk for obesity was measured using a genetic risk score composed of 32 single-nucleotide polymorphisms previously discovered in genome-wide association studies of adult body mass index. Appetite traits were measured at age 6 years with the Children’s Eating Behavior Questionnaire.Results Of the 652 genotyped child participants, 323 (49.5%) were female, 58 (8.9%) were overweight, and 1 (0.2%) was obese. Children at higher genetic risk for obesity had higher baseline body mass index and fat mass compared with lower genetic risk peers, and they gained weight and fat mass more rapidly during follow-up. Each SD increase in genetic risk score was associated with a 0.22-point increase in BMI at age-4 baseline (for the intercept, unstandardized path coefficient B = 0.22 [95% CI, 0.06-0.38]; P = .008. Children with higher genetic risk scores also gained BMI points more rapidly from ages 4 to 6 years (B = 0.11 [95% CI, 0.03-0.20]; P = .01 ; β = 0.12) and from 6 to 8 years (B = 0.09 [95% CI, 0.00-0.19]; P = .05; β = 0.10), compared with their lower genetic risk peers. Children at higher genetic risk had higher levels of alleged obesogenic appetite traits than peers with lower genetic risk at age 6 years, but appetite traits did not mediate genetic associations with weight gain. The sum of the 5 indirect effects was B = −0.001 (95% CI, −0.02 -0.01); P = .86; β = 0.00. Conclusions and Relevance Genetic risk for obesity is associated with accelerated childhood weight gain. Interventions targeting childhood weight gain may provide one path to mitigating genetic risk. However, middle childhood appetite traits may not be a promising target for such interventions. Studies of early-childhood samples are needed to test whether appetite traits explain how genetic risks accelerate growth earlier in development.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016
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    Frode Stenseng · Jay Belsky · Vera Skalicka · Lars Wichstrøm
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    ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) predicts poor peer relations. What remains unclear is whether poor peer relations affect ADHD symptomology. Hence, reciprocal effects of peer rejection and ADHD symptoms were examined in a community sample of 962 Norwegian children at ages 4, 6, and 8. Results showed that ADHD symptoms at age 4 predicted more peer rejection at age 6, and that peer rejection at age 4 predicted more symptoms at age 6. However, when conducting analyses on ADHD subtypes, Hyperactivity-Impulsivity and Inattentiveness symptoms were adversely affected by peer rejection at ages 6 and 8, whereas peer rejection was unaffected by such symptoms, indicating that the effect of peer rejection on ADHD symptoms was most robust. Mediational relationships were also identified.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Child Development
  • Vera Skalicka · Jay Belsky · Frode Stenseng · Lars Wichstrom
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    ABSTRACT: Research suggests that the relation between student–teacher conflict and children’s externalizing behavior might be reciprocal, and possibly also between student–teacher conflict and children’s social skills. Because children with externalizing behavior also tend to display low levels of social skills, we do not know if one or both of these student characteristics are involved in shaping and being shaped by the relationship to the teacher. In this study, we addressed this by means of a three-wave cross-lagged longitudinal study from preschool to third grade, including measures of social skills, externalizing behavior and student–teacher conflict. Bidirectional relations were observed between student–teacher conflict and social skills from first grade to third grade, and between student–teacher conflict and externalizing behavior between preschool and first grade. However, results from a model including both social skills and externalizing behavior suggested that externalizing behavior is a stronger predictor of conflicted student–teacher relationship than children’s social skills. Student–teacher conflict was predictive of externalizing behavior as well as of later social skills. Effect of children’s first-grade externalizing behavior on third-grade student–teacher conflict was gender moderated, with stronger effects of externalizing behavior observed in girls, combined with higher stability in first-grade student–teacher conflict in boys.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · International Journal of Behavioral Development
  • Vera Skalicka · Frode Stenseng · Jay Belsky · Lars Wichstrøm

    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Child Development
  • Lars Wichstrøm · Tilmann von Soest
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research has demonstrated that body satisfaction and self-esteem are highly correlated in adolescence, but reasons are poorly understood. We tested three explanations: (i) the two constructs are actually one; (ii) the correlation is explained by a third factor; (iii) there are prospective relationships between body satisfaction and self-esteem. A population based sample of Norwegian adolescents (n = 3251) was examined four times over a 13-year period. Confirmatory factor analysis showed that body satisfaction and self-esteem were separate constructs and the correlation between them was not attenuated when adjusting for 3rd variables. Autoregressive cross-lagged analysis showed reciprocal relations between body satisfaction and self-esteem. The prospective relationship between body satisfaction during adolescence and self-esteem in late adolescence and emerging adulthood was stronger than at later stages.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Adolescence
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    ABSTRACT: Children's depressive symptoms in the transition from preschool to school are rarely investigated. We therefore tested whether children's temperament (effortful control and negative affect), social skills, child psychopathology, environmental stressors (life events), parental accuracy of predicting their child's emotion understanding (parental accuracy), parental emotional availability, and parental depression predict changes in depressive symptoms from preschool to first grade. Parents of a community sample of 995 4-year-olds were interviewed using the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment. The children and parents were reassessed when the children started first grade ( n = 795). The results showed that DSM-5 defined depressive symptoms increased. Child temperamental negative affect and parental depression predicted increased, whereas social skills predicted decreased, depressive symptoms. However, such social skills were only protective among children with low and medium effortful control. Further, high parental accuracy proved protective among children with low effortful control and high negative affect. Thus, interventions that treat parental depression may be important for young children. Children with low effortful control and high negative affect may especially benefit from having parents who accurately perceive their emotional understanding. Efforts to enhance social skills may prove particularly important for children with low or medium effortful control.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Development and Psychopathology
  • Frode Stenseng · Jay Belsky · Vera Skalicka · Lars Wichstrøm
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    ABSTRACT: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) predicts poor peer relationships. What remains unclear is whether poor peer relationships affect ADHD symptomatology. Hence, reciprocal effects of peer rejection and ADHD symptoms were examined in a community sample of 962 Norwegian children at ages 4, 6, and 8. Results showed that ADHD symptoms at age 4 predicted more peer rejection at age 6, and that peer rejection at age 4 predicted more symptoms at age 6. However, when conducting analyses on ADHD subtypes, hyperactivity-impulsivity and inattentiveness symptoms were adversely affected by peer rejection at ages 6 and 8, whereas peer rejection was unaffected by such symptoms, indicating that the effect of peer rejection on ADHD symptoms was most robust. Mediational relation were also identified.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Child Development
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    ABSTRACT: A cross-national study of young adult sexual minorities was conducted in order to explore the associations between sexual orientation and measures of depression, suicidality, and substance use. Two nationally representative data sets were explored from the United States (N = 14,335) and Norway (N = 2423). Results indicated that sexual minorities experienced multiple health disparities (depression, suicidality, and substance use) compared to their heterosexual counterparts. We found similar patterns of depression, suicidality, and substance use for sexual minorities in both the United States and Norway. The highest odds of substance use were among heterosexual-identified Norwegian youth who reported same-sex sexual activity, and the highest odds of suicidality were found for bisexual young adults in Norway. These findings have implications for how we consider culture and social policy as barriers and/or opportunities for sexual minorities.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Social sciences
  • Silje Steinsbekk · Jay Belsky · Lars Wichstrøm

    No preview · Conference Paper · Oct 2015

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Oct 2015
  • Věra Skalická · Jay Belsky · Frode Stenseng · Lars Wichstrøm
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    ABSTRACT: In this Norwegian study, bidirectional relations between children's behavior problems and child-teacher conflict and closeness were examined, and the possibility of moderation of these associations by child-care group size was tested. Eight hundred and nineteen 4-year-old children were followed up in first grade. Results revealed reciprocal effects linking child-teacher conflict and behavior problems. Effects of child-teacher closeness on later behavior problems were moderated by group size: For children in small groups only (i.e., ≤ 15 children), greater closeness predicted reduced behavior problems in first grade. In consequence, stability of behavior problems was greater in larger than in smaller groups. Results are discussed in light of regulatory mechanisms and social learning theory, with possible implications for organization of child care. © 2015 The Authors. Child Development © 2015 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Child Development
  • Tilmann von Soest · Lars Wichstrøm · Ingela Lundin Kvalem
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines the development of global self-esteem and self-esteem in 6 specific domains across adolescence and young adulthood. Using a cohort-sequential design, we analyzed longitudinal data on 3,116 Norwegian men and women from 13 to 31 years of age by means of growth curve modeling. Questionnaire data provided information on global self-esteem and self-esteem in social, academic, athletic, and appearance domains. Data on important life outcomes was provided by register linkages. Results showed increasing levels of global self-esteem and self-esteem in most domains with increasing age. Being male, higher parental education, and reported higher levels of parental care were related to higher levels of global self-esteem and self-esteem in several domains. Self-esteem in the appearance domain showed high and stable correlations with global self-esteem, whereas in social domains, correlations with global self-esteem increased over age, with a particularly steep increase for romantic appeal self-esteem. As to the prospective relationship between self-esteem and important life outcomes, results showed that participants high in academic self-esteem attained higher education levels and higher income, but most of the relationship was explained by covariates such as parents' socioeconomic status and school grades. Low global self-esteem predicted later prescription of antidepressants, even after controlling for covariates. This study is the first to provide a comprehensive picture of the development of global and domain-specific self-esteem throughout adolescence and young adulthood using long-term longitudinal data. The results underscore the importance of examining development of self-esteem in specific domains in addition to global self-esteem. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
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    ABSTRACT: Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to individual differences in aggression. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met (COMT), a common, functional polymorphism, has been implicated in aggression and aggression traits, as have childhood experiences of adversity. It is unknown whether these effects are additive or interactional and, in the case of interaction, whether they conform to a diathesis-stress or differential susceptibility model. We examined Gene × Environment interactions between COMT and serious life events on measures of childhood aggression and contrasted these 2 models. The sample was composed of community children (N = 704); 355 were boys, and the mean age was 54.8 months (SD = 3.0). The children were genotyped for COMT rs4680 and assessed for serious life events and by teacher-rated aggression. Regression analysis showed no main effects of COMT and serious life events on aggression. However, a significant interactive effect of childhood serious life events and COMT genotype was observed: Children who had faced many serious life events and were Val homozygotes exhibited more aggression (p = .02) than did their Met-carrying counterparts. Notably, in the absence of serious life events, Val homozygotes displayed significantly lower aggression scores than did Met carriers (p = .03). When tested, this constellation of findings conformed to the differential susceptibility hypothesis: In this case, Val homozygotes are more malleable to the effect of serious life events on aggression and not simply more vulnerable to the negative effect of having experienced many serious life events. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Developmental Psychology
  • Silje Steinsbekk · Lars Wichstrøm
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To examine appetite traits, level of physical activity, and television (TV) time as predictors of change in Body Mass Index Standard Deviation Score (BMI SDS) from age 6 to 8 and to explore the effect of BMI SDS (from age 4) on appetite traits. METHODS: In all, 995 Norwegian children participated at age 4; 760 and 687 of these children took part in the assessment at ages 6 and 8, respectively. Appetite traits were assessed using the Children's Eating Behavior Questionnaire, activity was measured using accelerometers, and TV time was based on parental reports. RESULTS: High food responsiveness predicted a steeper increase in BMI SDS. A reversed effect was also observed: High BMI SDS predicted increased food responsiveness and decreased satiety responsiveness. Physical activity and TV time were unrelated to BMI SDS. CONCLUSION : Children whose eating is especially triggered by the sight and smell of food show prospective increased weight gain. Excess weight and weight gain also predict increased food-approaching behavior.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Pediatric Psychology
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    Lars Wichstrøm

    Preview · Article · May 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We studied potential determinants of the development of children's emotion understanding (EU) from age 4 to 6 in a Norwegian community sample (N = 974) using the Test of Emotion Comprehension. Interpersonal predictors included the accuracy of parental mentalization, parental emotional availability, and teacher-reported child social skills. Intrapersonal child factors were child gender and verbal skills. Overall, children's EU increased significantly over time. After adjusting for child gender, age-4 EU, and parental socio-economic status, greater child verbal and social skills and greater parental mentalization each uniquely predicted growth in EU. Results are discussed in terms of theory and research on children's EU and parents' emotion socialization. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.
    No preview · Article · May 2015
  • Silje Steinsbekk · Lars Wichstrøm
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To examine the prevalence and stability of DSM-4-defined sleep disorders from preschool to first grade and to explore the bidirectional relationship between sleep disorders and symptoms of psychiatric disorders. Method: All children born in 2003 or 2004 in Trondheim, Norway, who attended regular community health checkups for 4-year-olds, were invited to participate (97.2% attendance; 82.0% consent rate, n = 2475) in this study. The authors recruited a screen-stratified subsample of 1250 children and interviewed 994 parents (79.6%) using a structured diagnostic interview (the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment). Two years later, 795 of the parents completed the interview. Results: There was stability in insomnia (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 4.03, confidence interval [CI] = 2.83-5.75) and sleepwalking (adjusted OR = 19.28, CI = 4.53-82.10), whereas none of the children with hypersomnia or nightmare disorder at age 4 had the same disorder 2 years later. Insomnia increased the risk for developing symptoms of conduct disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD), and social phobia when the initial levels of insomnia were adjusted for. Symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and MDD at age 4 were statistically linked to insomnia at age 6. Sleepwalking predicted later separation anxiety disorder, whereas hypersomnia was unrelated to symptoms of psychiatric disorders. Conclusion: Insomnia is a prevalent and stable disorder in children and is bidirectionally related to psychiatric symptoms.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics
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    Åse Bjørseth · Cheryl McNeil · Lars Wichstrøm
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    ABSTRACT: We assessed the ability of the Dyadic Parent-Child Coding System to discriminate between Norwegian children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and/or Conduct Disorder (n = 36) and community controls with no diagnosis (n = 122). All children were diagnosed by the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment. Results showed that a composite score of three negative parent codes—Negative Talk, Indirect Commands with No Opportunity for Compliance, and Direct Command with Compliance—as well as one child code, Command, evidenced excellent screening efficiency. Results are discussed in light of possible cultural differences in parent-child interaction and revisions of the coding system.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Child & Family Behavior Therapy
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    ABSTRACT: Most adolescents are placed in residential youth care (RYC) because of severe psychosocial strains and child maltreatment, which represent risk factors for developing mental disorders. To plan RYC units and ensure that residents receive evidence-based psychiatric interventions, it is necessary to obtain reliable and valid prevalence estimates of mental disorders in this population. However, there is a lacuna of research on diagnoses derived from standardized clinical interviews. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and comorbidity of mental disorders applying diagnostic interviews in an entire population of adolescents living in RYC in Norway. All young people in RYC were invited to participate in the study. Eighty-six RYC institutions with 601 eligible adolescents were included and 400 adolescents, 12-20 years old, participated in the study, yielding a response rate of 67 %. Anonymous Child Behaviour Checklist scores for 141 (70 %) of the declining residents were also available, allowing diagnoses according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) for 541 youths to be estimated. Diagnoses were assessed by trained interviewers with the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment interview (CAPA). Seventy-six point two per cent (71.5-80.8 CI 95 %) of adolescents received at least one 3-month DSM-IV diagnosis. Prevalence rates for internalizing psychiatric disorders were higher than for behavioural disorders. Comorbidity was high between these two groups. Mental disorders were prevalent among children and youth in RYC. Our results create major concerns and challenge the existing organization of the RYC system.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: Although effortful control (EC), a regulatory aspect of temperament, is associated with a wide range of developmental outcomes, knowledge about EC promoters is scarce. This study explored whether secure attachment promoted the development of EC from preschool to school age in a community sample of 903 Norwegian children. EC was measured using the parent-reported Children's Behavior Questionnaire at four (T1) and six (T2) years of age, and attachment was measured using the Manchester Child Attachment Story Task at T1. Previous research has indicated that a child's gender and socioeconomic status are possible covariates of EC; hence, these factors were included in the analyses. Despite considerable rank-order stability in EC, secure attachment contributed to an increase in EC. Furthermore, gender moderated the effect of attachment: secure attachment promoted EC in boys only. These findings emphasize preschool boys' need for emotional security to facilitate effortful capacities in their transition to school. - This link from publisher gives you full-text accsess: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/55yS8NRJeBeM6pq2Xp5X/full
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Attachment & Human Development

Publication Stats

3k Citations
306.38 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1999-2016
    • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
      • Department of Psychology
      Nidaros, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway
    • Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research
      Kristiania (historical), Oslo County, Norway
  • 2013-2015
    • NTNU Samfunnsforskning
      Nidaros, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway
  • 2011-2015
    • St. Olavs Hospital
      Nidaros, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway
  • 2001-2006
    • Institutt for samfunnsforskning, Oslo
      Kristiania (historical), Oslo, Norway
  • 2002-2003
    • Norwegian Social Research (NOVA)
      Kristiania (historical), Oslo, Norway
  • 1997-1998
    • University of Oslo
      • Department of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine
      Kristiania (historical), Oslo, Norway
  • 1995-1996
    • The Research Council of Norway
      Kristiania (historical), Oslo, Norway