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Paternal Age Alters Social Development in Offspring

Janecka, M and Haworth, CMA and Ronald, A and Krapohl, E and Happé, F and Mill, J and Schalkwyk, LC and Fernandes, C and Reichenberg, A and Rijsdijk, F (2017) 'Paternal Age Alters Social Development in Offspring.' Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 56 (5). 383 - 390. ISSN 0890-8567

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Abstract

© 2017 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Objective Advanced paternal age (APA) at conception has been linked with autism and schizophrenia in offspring, neurodevelopmental disorders that affect social functioning. The current study explored the effects of paternal age on social development in the general population. Method We used multilevel growth modeling to investigate APA effects on socioemotional development from early childhood until adolescence, as measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) in the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) sample. We also investigated genetic and environmental underpinnings of the paternal age effects on development, using the Additive genetics, Common environment, unique Environment (ACE) and gene–environment (GxE) models. Results In the general population, both very young and advanced paternal ages were associated with altered trajectory of social development (intercept: p = .01; slope: p = .03). No other behavioral domain was affected by either young or advanced age at fatherhood, suggesting specificity of paternal age effects. Increased importance of genetic factors in social development was recorded in the offspring of older but not very young fathers, suggesting distinct underpinnings of the paternal age effects at these two extremes. Conclusion Our findings highlight that the APA-related deficits that lead to autism and schizophrenia are likely continuously distributed in the population.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Biological Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Leonard Schalkwyk
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2017 10:13
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 17:18
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19237

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