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Many studies have addressed the question of whether mental disorder is associated with creativity, but high-quality epidemiological evidence has been lacking.
To test for an association between studying a creative subject at high school or university and later mental disorder.
In a case–control study using linked population-based registries in Sweden (N = 4 454 763), we tested for associations between tertiary education in an artistic field and hospital admission with schizophrenia (N = 20 333), bipolar disorder (N = 28 293) or unipolar depression (N = 148 365).
Compared with the general population, individuals with an artistic education had increased odds of developing schizophrenia (odds ratio = 1.90, 95% CI = [1.69; 2.12]) bipolar disorder (odds ratio = 1.62 [1.50; 1.75]) and unipolar depression (odds ratio = 1.39 [1.34; 1.44]. The results remained after adjustment for IQ and other potential confounders.
Students of artistic subjects at university are at increased risk of developing schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and unipolar depression in adulthood.
Prior studies suggest parental and perinatal risk factors are associated with later offending. It remains uncertain, however, if such risk factors are similarly related to sexual offending.
We linked socio-demographic, family relations, and perinatal (obtained at birth) data from the nationwide Swedish registers from 1973 to 2009 with information on criminal convictions of cases and control subjects. Male sex offenders (n = 13 773) were matched 1:5 on birth year and county of birth in Sweden to male controls without sexual or non-sexual violent convictions. To examine risk-factor specificity for sexual offending, we also compared male violent, non-sexual offenders (n = 135 953) to controls without sexual or non-sexual violent convictions. Predictors included parental (young maternal or paternal age at son's birth, educational attainment, violent crime, psychiatric disorder, substance misuse, suicide attempt) and perinatal (number of older brothers, low Apgar score, low birth weight, being small for gestational age, congenital malformations, small head size) variables.
Conditional logistic regression models found consistent patterns of statistically significant, small to moderate independent associations of parental risk factors with sons’ sexual offending and non-sexual violent offending. For perinatal risk factors, patterns varied more; small for gestational age and small head size exhibited similar risk effects for both offence types whereas a higher number of older biological brothers and any congenital malformation were small, independent risk factors only for non-sexual violence.
This nationwide study suggests substantial commonalities in parental and perinatal risk factors for the onset of sexual and non-sexual violent offending.
Given the frequency with which families change residences, the effects of childhood relocations have gained increasing research attention. Many researchers have demonstrated that childhood relocations are associated with a variety of adverse outcomes. However, drawing strong causal claims remains problematic due to uncontrolled confounding factors.
We utilized longitudinal, population-based Swedish registers to generate a nationally representative sample of offspring born 1983–1997 (n = 1 510 463). Using Cox regression and logistic regression, we examined the risk for numerous adverse outcomes after childhood relocation while controlling for measured covariates. To account for unmeasured genetic and environmental confounds, we also compared differentially exposed cousins and siblings.
In the cohort baseline model, each annual relocation was associated with risk for the adverse outcomes, including suicide attempt [hazard ratio (HR) 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19–1.20]. However, when accounting for offspring and parental covariates (HR 1.08, 95% CI 1.07–1.09), as well as genetic and environmental confounds shared by cousins (HR 1.07, 95% CI 1.05–1.09) and siblings (HR 1.00, 95% CI 0.97–1.04), the risk for suicide attempt attenuated. We found a commensurate pattern of results for severe mental illness, substance abuse, criminal convictions, and low academic achievement.
Previous research may have overemphasized the independent association between relocations and later adverse outcomes. The results suggest that the association between childhood relocations and suicide attempt, psychiatric problems, and low academic achievement is partially explained by genetic and environmental confounds correlated with relocations. This study demonstrates the importance of using family-based, quasi-experimental designs to test plausible alternate hypotheses when examining causality.
Low socioeconomic status in childhood is a well-known predictor of subsequent criminal and substance misuse behaviours but the causal mechanisms are questioned.
To investigate whether childhood family income predicts subsequent violent criminality and substance misuse and whether the associations are in turn explained by unobserved familial risk factors.
Nationwide Swedish quasi-experimental, family-based study following cohorts born 1989–1993 (ntotal = 526 167, ncousins = 262 267, nsiblings = 216 424) between the ages of 15 and 21 years.
Children of parents in the lowest income quintile experienced a seven-fold increased hazard rate (HR) of being convicted of violent criminality compared with peers in the highest quintile (HR = 6.78, 95% CI 6.23–7.38). This association was entirely accounted for by unobserved familial risk factors (HR = 0.95, 95% CI 0.44–2.03). Similar pattern of effects was found for substance misuse.
There were no associations between childhood family income and subsequent violent criminality and substance misuse once we had adjusted for unobserved familial risk factors.
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