B4395 - Co-occurring socio-emotional difficulties combining development genetics and psychosocial risks - 22/08/2023

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Lydia Gabriela Speyer | Lancaster University (United Kingdom)
Title of project: 
Co-occurring socio-emotional difficulties: combining development, genetics and psychosocial risks
Proposal summary: 

Approximately 10-20% of children and adolescents experience socio-emotional difficulties severe enough to merit a diagnosis of a mental health disorder. More than 40% of these youth develop at least one other mental illness throughout their life. A developmental perspective that investigates the interrelations between different domains of socio-emotional development from early life to adulthood can offer important insights into why socio-emotional difficulties commonly co-occur. Using state-of-the-art longitudinal statistical techniques, this project aims to significantly advance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying co-occurring socio-emotional difficulties. It will illuminate the roles of both genetics and psychosocial factors in linking different socio-emotional difficulties together using robust study designs that consider a range of confounders and providing the best available evidence yet on the causal mechanisms underlying the co-occurrence of socio-emotional difficulties. As well as informing preventions and interventions, this will contribute to better, more comprehensive theories of the developmental roots of mental health.

Impact of research: 
The findings from this project will offer important substantive insights into why socio-emotional difficulties commonly co-occur and thus help improve targeted early intervention strategies that have the potential to prevent the development of secondary mental health problems. Findings will further contribute to better, more comprehensive theories of the developmental roots of mental health, thus, laying the foundation for future, more clinically applied research. Additionally, analyses will involve extending current modeling approaches, improving the testing of developmental theories. These will be made publicly available to allow other researchers to apply these to their own research and thus help to advance scientific knowledge across disciplines. Findings will be disseminated through publications in international peer-reviewed journals and will be presented at national and international conferences.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 14 August, 2023
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 16 August, 2023
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Developmental disorders - autism, Mental health, Statistical methods, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Cognition - cognitive function, Development, Genetic epidemiology, Mendelian randomisation, Methods - e.g. cross cohort analysis, data mining, mendelian randomisation, etc., Statistical methods