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There is now a clear focus on incorporating, and integrating, multiple levels of analysis in developmental science. The current study adds to research in this area by including markers of the immune and neuroendocrine systems in a longitudinal study of temperament in infants. Observational and parent-reported ratings of infant temperament, serum markers of the innate immune system, and cortisol reactivity from repeated salivary collections were examined in a sample of 123 infants who were assessed at 6 months and again when they were, on average, 17 months old. Blood from venipuncture was collected for analyses of nine select innate immune cytokines; salivary cortisol collected prior to and 15 min and 30 min following a physical exam including blood draw was used as an index of neuroendocrine functioning. Analyses indicated fairly minimal significant associations between biological markers and temperament at 6 months. However, by 17 months of age, we found reliable and nonoverlapping associations between observed fearful temperament and biological markers of the immune and neuroendocrine systems. The findings provide some of the earliest evidence of robust biological correlates of fear behavior with the immune system, and identify possible immune and neuroendocrine mechanisms for understanding the origins of behavioral development.
Prenatal loss, the death of a fetus/child through miscarriage or
stillbirth, is associated with significant depression and anxiety,
particularly in a subsequent pregnancy.
This study examined the degree to which symptoms of depression and
anxiety associated with a previous loss persisted following a subsequent
Data were derived from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and
Children cohort, a longitudinal cohort study in the west of England that
has followed mothers from pregnancy into the postnatal period. A total of
13 133 mothers reported on the number and conditions of previous
perinatal losses and provided self-report measures of depression and
anxiety at 18 and 32 weeks' gestation and at 8 weeks and 8, 21 and 33
months postnatally. Controls for pregnancy outcome and obstetric and
psychosocial factors were included.
Generalised estimating equations indicated that the number of previous
miscarriages/stillbirths significantly predicted symptoms of depression
(β = 0.18, s.e. = 0.07, P<0.01) and anxiety (β =
0.14, s.e. = 0.05, P<0.01) in a subsequent pregnancy,
independent of key psychosocial and obstetric factors. This association
remained constant across the pre- and postnatal period, indicating that
the impact of a previous prenatal loss did not diminish significantly
following the birth of a healthy child.
Depression and anxiety associated with a previous prenatal loss shows a
persisting pattern that continues after the birth of a subsequent
(healthy) child. Interventions targeting women with previous prenatal
loss may improve the health outcomes of women and their children.
Clinical samples have identified a number of psychosocial risk factors
for suicidal acts but it is unclear if these findings relate to the
To describe the prevalence of and psychosocial risk factors for suicidal
acts in a general adult population.
Data were obtained from a Canadian epidemiological survey of 36 984
respondents aged 15 years and older (weighted sample
n=23 662 430).
Of these respondents, 0.6% (weighted n=130 143) endorsed
a 12-month suicidal act. Female gender (OR=4.27, 95% CI 4.05–4.50), being
separated (OR=37.88, 95% CI 33.92–42.31) or divorced (OR=7.79, 95% CI
7.22–8.41), being unemployed (OR=1.70, 95% CI 1.50–1.80), experiencing a
chronic physical health condition (OR=1.70, 95% CI 1.67–1.86) and
experiencing a major depressive episode in the same 12-month period as
the act (OR=9.10, 95% CI 8.65–9.59) were significantly associated with a
The psychosocial correlates of suicidal acts in this sample are
consistent with those previously reported in clinical and general
population samples. These findings reinforce the importance of the
determination of suicide risk and its prevention not only of psychiatric
illness but of physical and psychosocial factors as well.
Previous cross-sectional studies have highlighted a number of obstetric
variables that may be associated with the development of broadly defined
puerperal (post-partum) psychosis. These include: (a) primiparity (b)
pregnancy complications, (c) delivery complications, (d) Caesarean
section, (e) female baby and (f) shorter gestation period.
To examine these risk factors in women with well-characterised bipolar
affective puerperal psychosis.
A sample of 129 women with bipolar affective puerperal psychosis were
investigated using a design that takes advantage of within-subject
comparisons of affected and unaffected deliveries.
Two of the variables studied were independently associated with an
episode of puerperal psychosis: primiparity (odds ratio=3.76,
P<0.001) and delivery complications (odds
This study provides further evidence of the association between
primiparity and puerperal psychosis and suggests that complications
during delivery may be associated with a severe post-partum episode.
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