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1.  Adolescent Alcohol Use is Predicted by Childhood Temperament Factors Before Age 5, with Mediation Through Personality and Peers 
Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research  2013;37(12):10.1111/acer.12206.
Very few studies chart developmental pathways from early childhood to adolescent alcohol-related outcomes. We test whether measures of temperament collected from mothers at multiple assessments from 6 months through 5 years predict alcohol-related outcomes in mid-adolescence, the developmental pathways that mediate these effects, and whether there are gender differences in pathways of risk.
Structural models were fit to longitudinal data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, an epidemiological sample of pregnant women with delivery dates between April 1991 and December 1992, with children followed longitudinally. Temperamental characteristics were assessed at 6 time points from 6 to 69 months of age. Alcohol use and problems were assessed at age 15.5. Analyses here utilize data from 6,504 boys and 6,143 girls.
Childhood temperament prior to age 5 predicted adolescent alcohol use and problems at age 15.5 years, even after controlling for socio-demographic factors and parental alcohol problems. In both boys and girls, 2 largely uncorrelated and distinct temperament styles—children who were rated as having consistent emotional and conduct difficulties through age 5, and children who were rated as consistently sociable through age 5—both showed elevated rates of alcohol problems at age 15.5, but via different mediational pathways. In both genders, the association between emotional and conduct difficulties and alcohol problems was mediated through reduced conscientiousness and lower emotional stability. The association between sociability and alcohol problems was mediated through increased extraversion and sensation-seeking for both genders. Boys also showed mediation for sociability and alcohol outcomes through friendship characteristics, and girls through lower conscientiousness and reduced emotional stability.
Our findings support multiple pathways to alcohol consumption and problems in adolescence. Some of these pathways are shared in boys and girls, while other risk factors are more salient in one gender or the other.
PMCID: PMC3823677  PMID: 23841856
ALSPAC; Temperament; Alcohol; Adolescence; Sex Differences
2.  The association between depressive symptoms from early to late adolescence and later use and harmful use of alcohol 
European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry  2014;23(12):1219-1230.
Depressive symptoms and alcohol misuse contribute substantially to the global health burden. These phenotypes often manifest, and frequently co-occur, during adolescence. However, few studies have examined whether both baseline levels of depressive symptoms and change in symptoms are associated with alcohol outcomes. In addition, inconsistent findings could be due to sex differences or the use of different alcohol outcomes. Using data from a prospective population-based cohort in the UK, we estimated trajectories of depressive symptoms from 12 years 10 months to 17 years 10 months, separately for male and female participants. We assessed whether baseline and change in depressive symptoms were associated with use and harmful use of alcohol at 18 years 8 months. Among females, increasing depressive symptoms were associated with increased alcohol use; whilst for males, there was little evidence of this. When examining harmful levels of alcohol use, baseline levels of depressive symptoms in males were weakly related to later harmful alcohol use but this association was attenuated substantially through adjustment for confounders. In contrast, both baseline symptoms and increase in symptoms were associated with later harmful alcohol use in females and these associations were not diminished by confounder adjustment. Elevated depressive symptoms during adolescence are positively associated with increases in both use and harmful use of alcohol at 18 years 8 months. These findings differ between the sexes. Further research is needed to examine the mechanisms underlying the link between depressive symptoms and harmful alcohol use to identify potentially modifiable factors for intervention.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00787-014-0600-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4246124  PMID: 25130265
ALSPAC; Adolescence; Depressive symptoms; Alcohol; Longitudinal
3.  Mothers' anxiety during pregnancy is associated with asthma in their children 
Maternal stress in early life has been associated with the development of asthma in children, although it is unclear whether there are any critical periods of exposure. The association of asthma with prenatal exposure to maternal stress has not been reported.
We tested whether prenatal and postnatal anxiety and/or depression in pregnant women predicted the risk of their offspring developing asthma in childhood.
The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children is a population-based birth cohort recruited during pregnancy. Data were available on maternal anxiety scores and asthma at age 7½ years in 5810 children. Anxiety was assessed at 18 and 32 weeks of gestation by using the validated Crown-Crisp Experiential Index. Asthma was defined at age 7½ years as doctor-diagnosed asthma with current symptoms or treatment in the previous 12 months. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine the association of prenatal anxiety with asthma (odds ratio; 95% CI).
Independent of postnatal anxiety and adjusted for a number of likely confounders, there was a higher likelihood of asthma at age 7½ years (odds ratio, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.25-2.17) in children of mothers in the highest compared with lowest quartile of anxiety scores at 32 weeks of gestation, with evidence for a dose-response (P value for trend <0.001).
Maternal anxiety symptoms as an indicator of stress during fetal life may program the development of asthma during childhood.
PMCID: PMC2726292  PMID: 19348924
Anxiety; pregnancy; prenatal programming; asthma; child; ALSPAC, Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children; HPA, Hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal; OR, Odds ratio
4.  Childhood conduct disorder trajectories, prior risk factors and cannabis use at age 16: birth cohort study 
Addiction (Abingdon, England)  2013;108(12):2129-2138.
AimsTo investigate the prevalence of cannabis use and problem use in boys and girls at age 16 years, and to investigate the role of adversity in early life and of conduct disorder between the ages of 4 and 13 years as risk factors for these outcomes.
DesignBirth cohort study.
ParticipantsA total of 4159 (2393 girls) participants in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) birth cohort providing information on cannabis use at age 16.
MeasurementsCannabis use and problem cannabis use at age 16 were assessed by postal questionnaire. Material adversity, maternal substance use, maternal mental health and child conduct disorder were all assessed by maternal report.
FindingsCannabis use was more common among girls than boys (21.4% versus 18.3%, P = 0.005). Problem cannabis use was more common in boys than girls (3.6% versus 2.8%, P = 0.007). Early-onset persistent conduct problems were associated strongly with problem cannabis use [odds ratio (OR) = 6.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 4.06–10.28]. Residence in subsidized housing (OR = 3.10, 95% CI = 1.95, 4.92); maternal cannabis use (OR 8.84, 95% CI 5.64–13.9) and any maternal smoking in the postnatal period (OR = 2.69, 95% CI = 1.90–3.81) all predicted problem cannabis use. Attributable risks for adolescent problem cannabis use associated with the above factors were 25, 13, 17 and 24%, respectively.
ConclusionsMaternal smoking and cannabis use, early material disadvantage and early-onset persistent conduct problems are important risk factors for adolescent problem cannabis use. This may have implications for prevention.
PMCID: PMC3908358  PMID: 23734913
Adolescence; ALSPAC; cannabis problems; cannabis use; conduct disorder; risk factors; trajectories
5.  Mothers' Own Recollections Of Being Parented And Risk Of Offspring Depression 18 Years Later: A Prospective Cohort Study 
Depression and Anxiety  2013;31(1):38-43.
Although the relationship between maternal bonding and risk of offspring depression has been demonstrated, it is unclear whether this risk exists for subsequent generations. This study examines the association between maternal reports of her own mother's parenting and later risk of depression in offspring at age 18.
This study is based on data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Mothers enrolled in the study, completed the Parental Bonding Instrument to provide an assessment of how they were parented by their own mothers up to the age of 16. Offspring depression was assessed at age of 18 using the Clinical Interview Schedule-Revised. The sample comprised 10,405 respondents who had completed the Parental Bonding Instrument during the antenatal period. Results were adjusted for grandmother's history of depression, maternal depression, and a range of socioeconomic variables.
A one standard deviation increase in mothers’ perceived lack of care in their own childhood was associated with a 16% increase in the odds of offspring depression at age 18 (odds ratios = 1.16, 95% confidence intervals = [1.04, 1.30]). This effect remained following adjustment for potential confounders (odds ratios = 1.14, 95% confidence intervals = [1.02, 1.27]). There was no evidence for an association between overprotection and offspring depression.
This study is consistent with the hypothesis that sensitive caregiving is important to future risk of depression across generations. Preventative interventions could be aimed at promoting positive parenting practices, which may help to reduce the risk of depression in subsequent generations.
PMCID: PMC3992906  PMID: 24105778
adolescence; ALSPAC; depression; maternal bonding

Results 1-5 (5)