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Economic hardship (EH) may link to poorer child diet, however whether this association is due to resource limitations or effects on family functioning is unknown. This study examines whether parenting stress mediates the association between EH and child consumption of foods high in saturated fats and added sugars (SFAS).
Data were collected from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study. EH was assessed using eight items collected when children were between 1–9 years old. Mothers reported parenting stress and frequency of child consumption of high SFAS foods when children were 9 years old. Latent growth curve modelling (LGCM) and structural equation modelling tested direct associations between the starting level/rate of change in EH and high SFAS food consumption, and parenting stress as a mediator of the association.
Twenty US cities.
Mothers/children (n 3846) followed birth through age 9 years, oversampled ‘high-risk’, unmarried mothers.
LGCM indicated a curvilinear trend in EH from ages 1–9, with steeper increases from ages 3–9 years. EH did not directly predict the frequency of high SFAS foods. Average EH at 3 and 5 years and change in EH from ages 1–9 predicted higher parenting stress, which in turn predicted more frequent consumption of high SFAS foods.
Findings suggest it may be important to consider parenting stress in early prevention efforts given potential lasting effects of early life EH on child consumption of high SFAS foods. Future research should explore how supports and resources may buffer effects of EH-related stress on parents and children.
Objectives: We conducted joint analyses from five randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of online family problem-solving therapy (OFPST) for children with traumatic brain injury (TBI) to identify child and parent outcomes most sensitive to OFPST and trajectories of recovery over time. Methods: We examined data from 359 children with complicated mild to severe TBI, aged 5–18, randomized to OFPST or a control condition. Using profile analyses, we examined group differences on parent-reported child (internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, executive function behaviors, social competence) and family outcomes (parental depression, psychological distress, family functioning, parent–child conflict). Results: We found a main effect for measure for both child and family outcomes [F(3, 731) = 7.35, p < .001; F(3, 532) = 4.79, p = .003, respectively], reflecting differing degrees of improvement across measures for both groups. Significant group-by-time interactions indicated that children and families in the OFPST group had fewer problems than controls at both 6 and 18 months post baseline [t(731) = −5.15, p < .001, and t(731) = −3.90, p = .002, respectively, for child outcomes; t(532) = −4.81, p < .001, and t(532) = −3.80, p < .001, respectively, for family outcomes]. Conclusions: The results suggest limited differences in the measures’ responsiveness to treatment while highlighting OFPST’s utility in improving both child behavior problems and parent/family functioning. Group differences were greatest at treatment completion and after extended time post treatment.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
An increase in symmetry is observed for a low density non-collisional plasma, in a simple magnetic mirror machine, due to the application of external oscillating magnetic fields of 1.5 MHz frequency. The increase in symmetry is attributed to an increase in stability of the flute mode and is dependent on the field’s polarization and trap magnetic field strength.
Evidence has accumulated that implicates childhood trauma in the aetiology of psychosis, but our understanding of the putative psychological processes and mechanisms through which childhood trauma impacts on individuals and contributes to the development of psychosis remains limited. We aimed to investigate whether stress sensitivity and threat anticipation underlie the association between childhood abuse and psychosis.
We used the Experience Sampling Method to measure stress, threat anticipation, negative affect, and psychotic experiences in 50 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients, 44 At-Risk Mental State (ARMS) participants, and 52 controls. Childhood abuse was assessed using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire.
Associations of minor socio-environmental stress in daily life with negative affect and psychotic experiences were modified by sexual abuse and group (all pFWE < 0.05). While there was strong evidence that these associations were greater in FEP exposed to high levels of sexual abuse, and some evidence of greater associations in ARMS exposed to high levels of sexual abuse, controls exposed to high levels of sexual abuse were more resilient and reported less intense negative emotional reactions to socio-environmental stress. A similar pattern was evident for threat anticipation.
Elevated sensitivity and lack of resilience to socio-environmental stress and enhanced threat anticipation in daily life may be important psychological processes underlying the association between childhood sexual abuse and psychosis.
The relationship between childhood adversity (CA) and psychotic disorder is well documented. As the adequacy of the current categorical diagnosis of psychosis is being increasingly questioned, we explored independent associations between different types of CA and specific psychotic symptom dimensions in a well-characterized sample of first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients.
This study involved 236 FEP cases aged 18–65 years who presented for the first time to psychiatric services in South London, UK. Psychopathology was assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and confirmatory factor analysis was used to evaluate the statistical fit of the Wallwork/Fortgang five-factor model of psychosis. CA prior to 17 years of age (physical abuse, sexual abuse, parental separation, parental death, and being taken into care) was retrospectively assessed using the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse Questionnaire.
Childhood sexual abuse [β = 0.96, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.40–1.52], childhood physical abuse (β = 0.48, 95% CI 0.03–0.93) and parental separation (β = 0.60, 95% CI 0.10–1.11) showed significant associations with the positive dimension; while being taken into care was associated with the excited dimension (β = 0.36, 95% CI 0.08–0.65), independent of the other types of CA. No significant associations were found between parental death and any of the symptom dimensions.
A degree of specificity was found in the relationships between different types of CA and psychosis symptom dimensions in adulthood, suggesting that distinct pathways may be involved in the CA–psychosis association. These potentially different routes to developing psychosis merit further empirical and theoretical exploration.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Efficient, reproducible, and precise methodologies for fabricating tissue engineering (TE) scaffolds using three-dimensional (3D) printing techniques are evaluated. Fusion deposition modeling, laser sintering, and photo printing each have limitations, including the materials that can be used with each printing system. However, new and promising resorbable materials are surfacing as alternatives to previously studied resorbable TE materials for 3D printing. One such resorbable polymer is poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF), which can be printed using photocross-linking 3D printing. The ability to print new materials opens up TE to a wide range of possibilities not previously available. The ability to control precise geometries, porosity, degradation, and functionalities present on 3D printable polymers such as PPF shows a new layer of complexity available for the design and fabrication of TE scaffolds.
Schizotypy is a complex concept, commonly defined as a genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia that falls on a continuum between healthy variation and severe mental illness. There is a growing body of evidence supporting an association between childhood trauma and increased psychotic experiences and disorders. However, the evidence as to whether there is a similar association with schizotypy has yet to be systematically synthesized and assessed.
We conducted a systematic search of published articles on the association between childhood trauma and schizotypy in four major databases. The search covered articles from 1806 to 1 March 2013 and resulted in 17 003 articles in total. Twenty-five original research studies met the eligibility criteria and were included in this review.
All 25 studies supported the association between at least one type of trauma and schizotypy, with odds ratios (ORs) ranging between 2.01 and 4.15. There was evidence supporting the association for all types of trauma, with no differential effects. However, there was some variability in the quality of the studies, with most using cross-sectional designs. Individuals who reported adverse experiences in childhood scored significantly higher on positive and negative/disorganized schizotypy compared to those who did not report such experiences.
All forms of childhood trauma and other stressful events (e.g. bullying) were found to be associated with schizotypy, with especially strong associations with positive schizotypy. However, because of the methodological limitations of several studies and a lack of further exploration of different possible mechanistic pathways underlying this association, more research is required.
Adverse uterine environments caused by maternal stress (such as bacterial endotoxin) can alter programming of the fetal hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPAA) rendering offspring susceptible to various adulthood diseases. Thus, protection against this type of stress may be critical for ensuring offspring health. The present study was designed to determine if maternal supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) during pregnancy helps to protect against stress-induced fetal programming. Briefly, 53 ewes were fed a diet supplemented with fishmeal (FM) or soybean meal (SM) from day 100 of gestation (gd100) through lactation. On gd135, half the ewes from each dietary group were challenged with either 1.2 μg/kg Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) endotoxin, or saline as the control. The offspring’s cortisol response to weaning stress was assessed 50 days postpartum by measuring serum cortisol concentrations 0, 6 and 24 h post weaning. Twenty-four hours post-weaning, lambs were subjected to an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenge (0.5 μg/kg) and serum cortisol concentrations were measured 0, 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2 h post injection. At 5.5 months of age, offspring were also challenged with 400 ng/kg of LPS, and serum cortisol concentrations were measured 0, 2, 4 and 6 h post challenge. Interestingly, female offspring born to FM+LPS mothers had a greater cortisol response to weaning and endotoxin challenge compared with the other treatments, while female offspring born to SM+LPS mothers had a faster cortisol response to the ACTH stressor. Additionally, males born to FM+LPS mothers had a greater cortisol response to the ACTH challenge than the other treatments. Overall, FM supplementation during gestation combined with LPS challenge alters HPAA responsiveness of the offspring into adulthood.
To examine the variability of food portions served and consumed by African-American and Hispanic-American pre-school children attending Head Start.
Food consumption by pre-schoolers (n 796) enrolled in sixteen Head Start centres in Houston, Texas (51 % boys, 42 % African-American, mean age 4 years) were assessed during 3 d of lunch meals using digital photography. Descriptive statistics and multilevel regression models, adjusting for classroom and school clustering effects, were determined.
Head Start pre-schoolers aged 3–5 years.
Mean amount served was 2428 kJ (580 kcal) and 572 g. Mean intake was 1421 kJ (339 kcal) and 331 g: 20 % protein, 46 % carbohydrate and 34 % fat. Plate waste was 43 % (range: 38 % (fruit) to 61 % (vegetables)). Mean CV of food served was 29 %: 33 % for entrées, 44 % for vegetables, 60 % for fruit and 76 % for starches. Mean CV of food consumed was 46 %: 58 % for entrées, 86 % for fruit, 96 % for vegetables and 111 % for starches. Total gram amount of food served was positively correlated with consumption (r = 0·43, P < 0·001).
Plate waste and variation in amounts served and consumed were substantial; amounts served were associated with amounts consumed. Large portion sizes may contribute to paediatric obesity by promoting excessive intake at meals. Understanding factors influencing portion sizes provides insight about specific intervention strategies that can be used in obesity prevention programmes.
Translocation and reintroduction are used to reduce extinction risk associated with a small population and range size in threatened mammal species. We evaluated the outcome of a reintroduction of the bridled nailtail wallaby Onychogalea fraenata to Avocet Nature Refuge, a private refuge in central Queensland, Australia. This macropod was also reintroduced to Idalia National Park in western Queensland in 1996 and occurs in one natural population in central Queensland. We estimated population growth, adult and juvenile survival, and distribution changes since the last release of O. fraenata to Avocet in 2005, and evaluated female reproductive success and health. Although animals were in good condition, population size was a tenth of that of the 1996 Idalia reintroduction reported after 3 years and, unlike at Idalia, juvenile survival at Avocet was low. The likely causes are consistent with predictors of translocation and reintroduction failures in mammals. These are predation, the small number of individuals in each release, the likely suboptimal health status of reintroduced individuals, drought, and possibly lack of dispersal from the small area of preferred habitat. The lessons of this reintroduction are that future attempts are likely to have the best chance of success if they occur in non-drought years, at sites with large, non-fragmented areas of brigalow forest, involve the release of large groups of animals together, and are accompanied by intensive, long-term baiting to control introduced predators.
Optically detected X-ray absorption spectroscopy (ODXAS) and X-ray excited optical luminescence (XEOL) have been applied in parallel to the study of local bonding in luminescent diamonds. Imaging ODXAS and XEOL reveal correlations between lateral variation in colour (transmitted light and luminescence) and local carbon bonding in selected samples showing strong optical absorption contrast. Dark regions of the crystals viewed in transmitted light correlate with a lower total luminescence yield when excited with soft X-rays of photon energy ~280 eV. ODXAS reveals a higher proportion of sp2-bonded carbon species in darker (less luminescent) regions associated with graphitic micro-inclusions.
We investigated an international outbreak of Salmonella Agona with a distinct PFGE pattern associated with an Irish Food company (company X) producing pre-cooked meat products sold in various food outlet chains in Europe. The outbreak was first detected in Ireland. We undertook national and international case-finding, food traceback and microbiological investigation of human, food and environmental samples. We undertook a matched case-control study on Irish cases. In total, 163 cases in seven European countries were laboratory-confirmed. Consumption of food from food outlet chains supplied by company X was significantly associated with being a confirmed case (mOR 18·3, 95% CI 2·2–149·2) in the case-control study. The outbreak strain was isolated from the company's pre-cooked meat products and production premises. Sufficient evidence was gathered to infer the vehicles of infection and sources of the outbreak and to justify the control measures taken, which were plant closure and food recall.
Parents may influence children’s fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption in many ways, but research has focused primarily on counterproductive parenting practices, such as restriction and pressure to eat. The present study aimed to assess the association of diverse parenting practices to promote F&V and its consumption among pre-school children.
An exploratory analysis was performed on cross-sectional data from 755 Head Start pre-school children and their parents collected in 2004–5. Data included parent practices to facilitate child F&V consumption (grouped into five categories); parent-reported dietary intake of their child over 3 d; and a number of potential correlates. K-means cluster analysis assigned parents to groups with similar use of the food parenting practice categories. Stepwise linear regression analyses investigated the association of parent clusters with children’s consumption of F&V, after controlling for potential confounding factors.
A three-cluster solution provided the best fit (R2 = 0·62), with substantial differences in the use of parenting practices. The clusters were labelled Indiscriminate Food Parenting, Non-directive Food Parenting and Low-involved Food Parenting. Non-directive parents extensively used enhanced availability and teachable moments’ practices, but less firm discipline practices than the other clusters, and were significantly associated with child F&V intake (standardized β = 0·09, P < 0·1; final model R2 = 0·17) after controlling for confounders, including parental feeding styles.
Parents use a variety of parenting practices, beyond pressuring to eat and restrictive practices, to promote F&V intake in their young child. Evaluating the use of combinations of practices may provide a better understanding of parental influences on children’s F&V intake.
In December 2006 an outbreak of Campylobacter infection occurred in Forth Valley, Scotland, affecting 48 people over a 3-week period. All cases dined at restaurant A. We conducted a cohort study in a party of 30 who ate lunch at restaurant A on 21 December to identify the vehicle of infection. Of 29 respondents, the attack rate in those who ate chicken liver pâté was 86% (6/7) compared to 0% (0/22) for those who did not. Between 1 December and 1.30 p.m. on 21 December the restaurant had used a different method of cooking the pâté. No cases reported dining at the restaurant after this time. The outbreak's duration suggested a continuous source. This is the first continuous source outbreak of Campylobacter documented in Scotland. Chicken liver pâté was the most likely vehicle of infection. This outbreak illustrates the hazards associated with undercooking Campylobacter-contaminated food.
Studies of RE5(SixGe1-x)4 alloys, where RE equals rare earth, have revealed a second-phase having a thin-plate morphology in essentially every alloy examined, independent of exact composition and matrix crystal structure. Identified as having a composition approximating Gd5(SixGe1-x)3 and a hexagonal crystal structure in the Gd-based system, it has been suggested that the observed thin-plate second phases seen in this family of rare earth alloys are all most likely of the form RE5(SixGe1-x)3. A number of interesting observations suggest that the formation of these second-phase plates is somewhat unusual. The purpose of this article is to investigate the stability of this second phase in Gd- and Er-based compounds. The stability was investigated as a function of thermal cycling and large-scale composition fluctuations. The results of scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM, TEM) studies indicate that the RE5(SixGe1-x)3 phase is extremely stable once it forms in a RE5(SixGe1-x)4 matrix.