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The Early Growth and Development Study (EGDS) is a prospective adoption study of birth parents, adoptive parents and adopted children (n = 561 adoptees). The original sample has been expanded to include siblings of the EGDS adoptees who were reared by the birth mother and assessed beginning at age 7 years (n = 217 biological children), and additional siblings in both the birth and adoptive family homes, recruited when the adoptees were 8–15 years old (n = 823). The overall study aims are to examine how family, peer and contextual processes affect child and adolescent adjustment, and to examine their interplay (mediation, moderation) with genetic influences. Adoptive and birth parents were originally recruited through adoption agencies located throughout the USA following the birth of a child. Assessments are ongoing and occurred in 9 month’s intervals until the adoptees turned 3 years of age, and in 1 to 2 year intervals thereafter through age 15. Data collection includes the following primary constructs: child temperament, behavior problems, mental health, peer relations, executive functioning, school performance and health; birth and adoptive parent personality characteristics, mental health, health, context, substance use, parenting and marital relations; and the prenatal environment. Findings highlight the power of the adoption design to detect environmental influences on child development and provide evidence of complex interactions and correlations between genetic, prenatal environmental and postnatal environmental influences on a range of child outcomes. The study sample, procedures and an overview of findings are summarized and ongoing assessment activities are described.
Silphium spp. have garnered interest in Europe as a bioenergy crop and in North America as a perennial oilseed crop. However, very little has been done at this early stage of domestication to characterize wild collections for many key characteristics, including important oilseed traits. The objective of this work was to develop a basic understanding of how biogeography and associated population genetic forces have shaped seed phenotypes in plant collections across the native range of Silphium integrifolium Michx. (Asteraceae: Heliantheae), the primary domestication candidate for oilseed use. A collection of 53 accessions was grown in a common environment in Salina, KS, which is a location well within the native range of the species in central North America. Plants from each collection site were randomly mated by hand to produce seed representative of each accession, and the seeds subjected to seed dimensional trait, oil content and oil composition analyses. Kernel width varied along a latitudinal cline of collection site, while kernel length varied across a longitudinal cline. Palmitic and linoleic acids were inversely correlated with each other and varied along a longitudinal cline of the collection site. The results indicate that accessions collected from more southwesterly sites tended to have larger seed and those from more westerly sites had higher linoleic acid content and lower palmitic and myristic acids, which are all desirable phenotypes for an oilseed Silphium.
Impairments of contextual processing and theory of mind (ToM) have both been offered as accounts of the deviant language characterising formal thought disorder (FTD) in schizophrenia. This study investigated these processes in patients' dialogue. We predicted that FTD patients would show a decrement in linguistic alignment, associated with impaired ToM in dialogue.
Speech samples were elicited via participation in an interactive computer-based task and a semi-structured interview to assess contextual processing abilities and ToM skills in dialogue, respectively, and from an interactive card-sorting task to measure syntactic alignment. Degree of alignment in dialogue and the syntactic task, and evidence of ToM in (i) dialogue and (ii) a traditional ToM task were compared across schizophrenia patients with FTD (n = 21), non-FTD patients (n = 22) and healthy controls (n = 21).
FTD patients showed less alignment than the other two groups in dialogue, and than healthy controls on the syntactic task. FTD patients showed poorer performance on the ToM task than the other two groups, but only compared to the healthy controls in dialogue. The FTD group's degree of alignment in dialogue was correlated with ToM performance in dialogue but not with the traditional ToM task or with syntactic alignment.
In dialogue, FTD patients demonstrate an impairment in employing available contextual information to facilitate their own subsequent production, which is associated with a ToM deficit. These findings indicate that a contextual processing deficit impacts on exploiting representations via the production system impoverishing the ability to make predictions about upcoming utterances in dialogue.
Dishion and Patterson's work on the unique role of fathers in the coercive family process showed that fathers' coercion explained twice the variance of mothers' in predicting children's antisocial behavior and how treatment and prevention of coercion and promotion of prosocial parenting can mitigate children's problem behaviors. Using these ideas, we employed a sample of 426 divorced or separated fathers randomly assigned to Fathering Through Change (FTC), an interactive online behavioral parent training program or to a waitlist control. Participating fathers had been separated or divorced within the past 24 months with children ages 4 to 12 years. We tested an intent to treat (ITT) mediation hypothesis positing that intervention-induced changes in child problem behaviors would be mediated by changes in fathers' coercive parenting. We also tested complier average causal effects (CACE) models to estimate intervention effects, accounting for compliers and noncompliers in the treatment group and would-be compliers in the controls. Mediation was supported. ITT analyses showed the FTC obtained a small direct effect on father-reported pre–post changes in child adjustment problems (d = .20), a medium effect on pre–post changes in fathers' coercive parenting (d = .61), and a moderate indirect effect to changes in child adjustment (d = .30). Larger effects were observed in CACE analyses.
We summarise processes determining large-scale patterns of distribution and abundance of macroinfauna from Florida to Newfoundland, ~25°N to 52°N, focussing on intertidal and shallow subtidal (~ 5 m depth) muddy sands and sandy muds, habitats with abundant experimental data. Within the theme of geographic distribution of processes, mechanisms and patterns we suggest latitudinal patterns will likely change most as climate changes intensify. Published studies support the following major biogeographic patterns: (1) reduced importance of large disturbance predators north of Cape Cod, driven by latitudinal shifts in thermal regimes; (2) large digging predators from Delaware Bay (39.25°N) southwards dramatically reduce infaunal densities, restricting competitive interactions; (3) disturbance refugia, e.g., Zostera, drive southern spatial patterns; (4) rising seawater temperatures and reduced water clarity limit the extent and diversity of rooted plants in the south and mid-Atlantic; (5) latitudinal changes in tidal regimes result in greater aerial exposure in the north, magnifying latitudinal sea surface temperature changes; (6) ice cover intensifies to the north and (7) the Boston−Washington, DC megalopolis accentuates human signatures through eutrophication between 36.5°N and 42.6°N. Finally, we discuss potential shifts with climate change in these latitudinal patterns and processes.
Body mass index z-score (BMIz) based on the CDC growth charts is widely used, but it is inaccurate above the 97th percentile. We explored the performance of alternative metrics based on the absolute distance or % distance of a child’s BMI from the median BMI for sex and age.
We used longitudinal data from 5628 children who were first examined < 12 y to compare the tracking of three BMI metrics: distance from median, % distance from median, and % distance from median on a log scale. We also explored the effects of adjusting these metrics for age differences in the distribution of BMI. The intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to compare tracking of the metrics.
To advance research from Dishion and others on associations between parenting and peer problems across childhood, we used a sample of 177 sibling pairs reared apart since birth (because of adoption of one of the siblings) to examine associations between parental hostility and children's peer problems when children were ages 7 and 9.5 years (n = 329 children). We extended conventional cross-lagged parent–peer models by incorporating child inhibitory control as an additional predictor and examining genetic contributions via birth mother psychopathology. Path models indicated a cross-lagged association from parental hostility to later peer problems. When child inhibitory control was included, birth mother internalizing symptoms were associated with poorer child inhibitory control, which was associated with more parental hostility and peer problems. The cross-lagged paths from parental hostility to peer problems were no longer significant in the full model. Multigroup analyses revealed that the path from birth mother internalizing symptoms to child inhibitory control was significantly higher for birth parent–reared children, indicating the possible contribution of passive gene–environment correlation to this association. Exploratory analyses suggested that each child's unique rearing context contributed to his or her inhibitory control and peer behavior. Implications for the development of evidence-based interventions are discussed.
Sediments that accumulate in high-latitude lakes serve as valuable environmental archives of changing conditions in a region currently undergoing rapid change. A previously unexplored sedimentary sequence reaching back 16,000 years from Lakes Peters and Schrader (Neruokpuk Lakes) in the northeastern Brooks Range (69°N), Alaska, shows distinct changes in accumulation rates and biophysical properties including bulk density (BD), organic matter (OM) content, and grain-size distribution at five widely distributed core sites. The oldest sediments contain little OM and accumulated rapidly as glaciers retreated around 15 ka. OM peaked between 12 and 10 ka along with Northern Hemisphere summer insolation. BD increased and OM decreased until around 5 ka, possibly reflecting a decrease in river-transported terrestrial OM. From 5–2 ka, OM consistently increased, suggesting a rise in river discharge, or a rise in summer temperatures, which led to higher productivity, or both. After 2 ka, sediments increased in BD and decreased in OM, suggesting glacier growth. Evidence for glacier expansion late during the Little Ice Age is weak, but increased sedimentation rates may reflect glacier retreat during the last century. This study provides a framework for future paleoenvironmental research of a rare archive in a relatively pristine Arctic setting.
Assessment of right ventricular size and function is an important part of the clinical cardiac evaluation; however, these quantitative measures are challenging by echocardiography. Automated software could be useful in place of manual measurements and qualitative assessment. This study evaluates a semi-automated software by comparing automated to manual measures in normal children.
Neonates to adolescents with normal echocardiograms were prospectively enrolled. Measurements were performed using manual techniques and semi-automated software (EchoInsight®, Epsilon Imaging, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America). Right ventricular measurements included end-diastolic and end-systolic area, fractional area change, chamber dimensions, and tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion. Agreement between manual and semi-automated measures was compared.
Echocardiograms for 233 patients were included in the analysis. Intra- and inter-observer reliabilities for semi-automated measures were good with intraclass correlation coefficients all over 0.9 and 0.85, respectively. There was very strong correlation between manual and semi-automated methods for areas and dimensions (r = 0.93–0.99) and low bias (1.4–10.8%). For functional measures, tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion measures correlated well (r = 0.84), but fractional area change did not (r = 0.50). Both demonstrated significant bias (33.5–43.0%). The semi-automated method consistently underestimated fractional area change with a mean of 26.6% versus a manual mean of 36.1%.
The semi-automated software is capable of generating quantitative right ventricular measures in children with good reliability. The software demonstrates very good correlation and low bias when compared to manual methods for right ventricular areas and dimensions. There is a significant difference between manual and semi-automated techniques for the functional measures.
The preservation of genetic diversity is an important aspect of conservation biology. Low genetic diversity within a population can lead to inbreeding depression and a reduction in adaptive potential, which may increase extinction risk. Here we report changes in genetic diversity over 12 years in a declining population of the Corncrake Crex crex, a grassland bird species of high conservation concern throughout Europe. Despite a twofold demographic decline during the same period, we found no evidence for a reduction of genetic diversity. The gradual genetic differentiation observed among populations of Corncrake across Europe suggests that genetic diversity is maintained in western populations by constant gene flow from the larger and more productive populations in eastern Europe and Asia. The maintenance of genetic diversity in this species is an opportunity that may help the implementation of effective conservation actions across the Corncrake’s European range.
Understanding perceptions of family caregivers’ roles and responsibilities regarding their child with complex cardiac needs has potential to help care teams better support parents. Paternal experience has been under-explored in pediatric cardiac cohorts.
Ten fathers of children undergoing cardiac surgery completed quantitative surveys on their knowledge needs and preferred format of communication. In face-to-face recorded interviews, they responded to open-ended questions about the definition of being a good father to a child with a complex cardiac condition, perceived paternal responsibilities, personal growth as a parent to a child with a complex heart condition, support needs, and recommendations to medical staff for paternal inclusion. Semantic content analysis was utilised. The study reports strictly followed COnsolidated criteria for REporting Qualitative research guidelines.
The fathers reported high preference for knowledge about the child’s heart condition, communication about the treatment plan, and desire for inclusion in the care of their child. Paternal role was defined thematically as: providing a supportive presence, being there, offering bonded insight, serving as strong provider, and acting as an informed advocate. The fathers revealed that their responsibilities sometimes conflicted as they strove to serve as an emotional and economic stabiliser for their family, while also wanting to be foundationally present for their child perioperatively.
This study provides insight into paternal experience and strategies for paternal inclusion. This summary of the self-defined experience of the fathers of pediatric cardiac patients offers constructive and specific advice for medical teams.
In a recent paper (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 861, 2019, pp. 328–348), Benilov derived equations governing a laminar liquid sheet (a curtain) that emanates from a slot whose centreline is inclined to the vertical. The equations are valid for slender sheets whose characteristic length scale in the direction of flow is much larger than its cross-sectional thickness. For a liquid that leaves a slot with average speed,
, volumetric flow rate per unit width,
, surface tension,
, and density,
, Benilov obtains parametric equations that predict steady-state curtain shapes that bend upwards against gravity provided
. Benilov’s parametric equations are shown to be identical to those derived by Finnicum, Weinstein, and Ruschak (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 255, 1993, pp. 647–665). In the latter form, it is straightforward to deduce an alternative solution of Benilov’s equations where a curtain falls vertically regardless of the slot’s orientation. This solution is consistent with prior experimental and theoretical results that show that a liquid curtain can emerge from a slot at an angle different from that of the slot centreline.
The first episode of psychosis is a critical period in the emergence of cardiometabolic risk.
We set out to explore the influence of individual and lifestyle factors on cardiometabolic outcomes in early psychosis.
This was a prospective cohort study of 293 UK adults presenting with first-episode psychosis investigating the influence of sociodemographics, lifestyle (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, nutrition, smoking, alcohol, substance use) and medication on cardiometabolic outcomes over the following 12 months.
Rates of obesity and glucose dysregulation rose from 17.8% and 12%, respectively, at baseline to 23.7% and 23.7% at 1 year. Little change was seen over time in the 76.8% tobacco smoking rate or the quarter who were sedentary for over 10 h daily. We found no association between lifestyle at baseline or type of antipsychotic medication prescribed with either baseline or 1-year cardiometabolic outcomes. Median haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) rose by 3.3 mmol/mol in participants from Black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, with little change observed in their White counterparts. At 12 months, one-third of those with BME heritage exceeded the threshold for prediabetes (HbA1c >39 mmol/mol).
Unhealthy lifestyle choices are prevalent in early psychosis and cardiometabolic risk worsens over the next year, creating an important window for prevention. We found no evidence, however, that preventative strategies should be preferentially directed based on lifestyle habits. Further work is needed to determine whether clinical strategies should allow for differential patterns of emergence of cardiometabolic risk in people of different ethnicities.
Declaration of interest
F.G. has received honoraria for advisory work and lectures or CME activity support from Roche, BMS, Lundbeck, Otsuka, Janssen and Sunovion, is a collaborator on an NHS Innovations project co-funded by Janssen and has a family member with professional links to Lilly and GSK, including shares. R.M.M. has received honoraria for lectures from Lundbeck, Otsuka, Janssen and Sunovian. M.D.F. has received honoraria for lectures from Janssen and Sunovian. Z.A. has received honoraria for advisory work and lectures from Roche, Sanofi, Lilly and Otsuka. O.H. has received investigator-initiated research funding from and/or participated in advisory/speaker meetings organised by Astra-Zeneca, Autifony, Biogen, BMS, Eli Lilly, Heptares, Jansenn, Lundbeck, Lyden-Delta, Otsuka, Servier, Sunovion, Rand and Roche. D.T. has received funding for lectures and research from Janssen, Otsuka, Servier, Lundbeck, Sunovion.