B3894 - Maternal stress and the biological and epigenetic pathway to childrens development - 08/10/2021

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Nancy Kong | University of Sydney (Australia)
Dr Brendan Osberg
Title of project: 
Maternal stress and the biological and epigenetic pathway to children’s development
Proposal summary: 

This project aims to investigate the effect of parental stress on children’s development of non-cognitive skills and both emotional and behavioural disorders. In particular, we plan to investigate parental stress in the forms of: (a) maternal exposure to stressors during pregnancy; and (b) COVID-19 related health and financial stress during the height of the pandemic. This project will employ rich longitudinal datasets and use questionnaire data to examine parenting styles as well as epigenetic, genetic, and clinical biomarkers to examine the potential pathways of parental stress on children’s developmental outcomes.

Impact of research: 
The project will identify a novel pathway of stress transmission, highlighting the potential negative intergenerational consequences. The findings will shed light on policymakers to reduce parental stress in order to minimize social costs across generations. Results will be presented at international conferences, and aim to be published in high-impact peer-reviewed journals.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 6 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 8 October, 2021
Health Economics, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Eating disorders - anorexia, bulimia, Mental health, Obesity, DNA sequencing, Gene mapping, GWAS, Statistical methods, Biological samples -e.g. blood, cell lines, saliva, etc., Biomarkers - e.g. cotinine, fatty acids, haemoglobin, etc., Hormones - cortisol, IGF, thyroid, Mothers - maternal age, menopause, obstetrics, Methods - e.g. cross cohort analysis, data mining, mendelian randomisation, etc., Parenting, Sex differences, Siblings, Statistical methods, Whole genome sequencing, Birth outcomes, BMI, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Cognition - cognitive function, Development, Epigenetics, Genetics, Genome wide association study