B3465 - Genetic and Environmental Components of Parental Effects on Child Physical and Mental Health - 18/02/2020

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Pak C. Sham | The University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
Justin Tubbs, Talia Wu, Saloni Dattani, Yiming Li, PhD
Title of project: 
Genetic and Environmental Components of Parental Effects on Child Physical and Mental Health
Proposal summary: 

Ultimately, the similarity between parents and their children can come from two sources: nature and nurture. Recently, methods have been introduced to identify the effects of “genetic nurture” - effects of the parentally-provided environment which can be explained by the parents’ genes through their influences on parental behavior (rather than through genetic transmission to their children). We have developed an extension of these methods which may allow us to find specific genetic factors which make up this effect, for nuclear families with genotype data available on at least 2 members (e.g., sibling pairs or parent-offspring pairs). This method involves imputing missing parental genotypes from the available genotypes of each nuclear family. Because of its detailed longitudinal phenotype data and genotyped mothers and children, ALSPAC is an ideal dataset to examine these effects across a number of traits important to human health and disease. The results of this study will better help us understand the important role of the parental environment in childhood development and identify specific genetic and environmental risk factors (and their interaction) for physical and mental health outcomes in children.

Impact of research: 
First, introducing and applying our novel missing genotype imputation routine and model will enhance the ability of other researchers to more fully characterize maternal and paternal effects of genetic and environmental origins across traits relevant to human health. Second, our analysis of longitudinal mental health trajectories will improve our understanding of the risk and protective factors for internalizing and externalizing disorders across development by identifying specific genetic loci and aggregate parental genetic effects, and their interaction with known risk factors.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 7 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 18 February, 2020
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Mental health, Obesity, Computer simulations/modelling/algorithms, GWAS, Statistical methods, BMI, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Environment - enviromental exposure, pollution, Genetic epidemiology, Genome wide association study, Methods - e.g. cross cohort analysis, data mining, mendelian randomisation, etc., Parenting, Psychology - personality, Statistical methods