Browsing by Subject "TEMPERAMENT"

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  • Salonen, Milla; Sulkama, Sini; Mikkola, Salla; Puurunen, Jenni; Hakanen, Emma; Tiira, Katriina; Araujo, César; Lohi, Hannes (2020)
    Behaviour problems and anxieties in dogs decrease their quality of life and may lead to relinquishment or euthanasia. Considering the large number of pet dogs and the commonness of these problematic behaviours, a better understanding of the epidemiology and related molecular and environmental factors is needed. We have here studied the prevalence, comorbidity, and breed specificity of seven canine anxiety-like traits: noise sensitivity, fearfulness, fear of surfaces and heights, inattention/impulsivity, compulsion, separation related behaviour and aggression with an online behaviour questionnaire answered by dog owners. Our results show that noise sensitivity is the most common anxiety-related trait with a prevalence of 32% in 13,700 Finnish pet dogs. Due to the high prevalence of noise sensitivity and fear, they were the most common comorbidities. However, when comparing the relative risk, the largest risk ratios were seen between hyperactivity/inattention, separation related behaviour and compulsion, and between fear and aggression. Furthermore, dog breeds showed large differences in prevalence of all anxiety-related traits, suggesting a strong genetic contribution. As a result, selective breeding focusing on behaviour may reduce the prevalence of canine anxieties. Anxious animals may suffer from chronic stress and thus, modified breeding policies could improve the welfare of our companion dogs.
  • Elovainio, Marko; Pulkki-Raback, Laura; Hakulinen, Christian; Lehtimaki, Terho; Jokinen, Eero; Ronnemaa, Tapani; Mikkila, Vera; Tossavainen, Paivi; Jula, Antti; Hutri-Kahonen, Nina; Viikari, Jorma; Keltikangas-Jarvinen, Liisa; Raitakari, Olli; Juonala, Markus (2017)
    The psychosocial environment and especially various psychosocial risks in childhood have been shown to predict later negative health behavior and health problems. In this study, we examined whether various psychosocial factor domains in childhood and adolescence: socioeconomic status, theemotional family environment (parental nurturance, life-satisfaction), parental lifestyle, life-events, the child's self-regulatory behavior and the child's social adaptation were associated with body mass index (BMI) trajectories individually by domain and as a cumulative score across domains. The participants were a nationally representative sample of 2016 men and women fromthe Young Finns study aged 3-18 years at study entry in 1980. Their BMI wasmeasured at six study phases from 1980 to 2012. Their parents reported all the factors related to their psychosocial environment in 1980. The participants responded to questions on adulthood socioeconomic status in 2007. The accumulation of psychosocial factors in childhood was the main exposure variable. The findings fromrepeated measuresmultilevelmodeling showed that parental lifestyle and life-events and the more positive cumulative psychosocial factors score were associated with a slower increase in BMI during follow-up (regression coefficient range from - 0.06 to -0.50). In conclusion, the psychosocial environment in childhood and adolescence, particularly parental lifestyle and lack of stressful life-events, are associated with a lower increase of BMI. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Salonen, Milla; Mikkola, Salla; Hakanen, Emma; Sulkama, Sini; Puurunen, Jenni; Lohi, Hannes (2021)
    Simple Summary Dogs have distinct personalities, meaning differences between individuals that persist throughout their lives. However, it is still unclear what traits are required to define the whole personality of dogs. Personality and unwanted behavior are often studied using behavioral questionnaires, but researchers should ensure that these questionnaires are reliable and valid, meaning that they measure the behavior traits they were intended to measure. In this study, we first examined what traits define a dog's personality. We discovered seven personality traits: Insecurity, Training focus, Energy, Aggressiveness/dominance, Human sociability, Dog sociability and Perseverance. We also studied six unwanted behavior traits: noise sensitivity, fearfulness, aggression (including barking, stranger directed aggression, owner directed aggression and dog directed aggression), fear of surfaces and heights, separation anxiety, and impulsivity/inattention (including hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention). We examined the reliability of these traits by asking some dog owners to answer to the questionnaire twice, several weeks apart, and by asking another family member to answer the questionnaire of the same dog. Furthermore, we studied the validity of these traits by forming predictions based on previous literature. Based on our results, this personality and unwanted behavior questionnaire is a good tool to study dog behavior. Dogs have distinct, consistent personalities, but the structure of dog personality is still unclear. Dog personality and unwanted behavior are often studied with behavioral questionnaires. Even though many questionnaires are reliable and valid measures of behavior, all new questionnaire tools should be extensively validated. Here, we examined the structure of personality and six unwanted behavior questionnaire sections: noise sensitivity, fearfulness, aggression, fear of surfaces and heights, separation anxiety and impulsivity/inattention with factor analyses. Personality consisted of seven factors: Insecurity, Training focus, Energy, Aggressiveness/dominance, Human sociability, Dog sociability and Perseverance. Most unwanted behavior sections included only one factor, but the impulsivity/inattention section divided into two factors (Hyperactivity/impulsivity and Inattention) and the aggression section into four factors (Barking, Stranger directed aggression, Owner directed aggression and Dog directed aggression). We also examined the internal consistency, test-retest reliability, inter-rater reliability and convergent validity of the 17 personality and unwanted behavior traits and discovered excellent reliability and validity. Finally, we investigated the discriminant validity of the personality traits, which was good. Our findings indicate that this personality and unwanted behavior questionnaire is a reliable and valid tool that can be used to study personality and behavior extensively.
  • Mikkola, Salla; Salonen, Milla; Hakanen, Emma; Sulkama, Sini; Lohi, Hannes (2021)
    Simple Summary Cats have personalities, just like humans and other animals, with stable behavior differences between individuals. Identification of a cat's personality type is important as cats with different personalities have different environmental needs to reach a good life quality. For example, active individuals may need more enrichment, such as playing, than less active individuals, and fearful cats may benefit from extra hiding places and owners' peaceful lifestyle. Cats are popular pet animals, but their personality has been little studied. In addition, the majority of these studies used behavior questionnaires that have not been validated. Thus, we studied cat personality and behavior by collecting a large dataset of over 4300 cats with an online questionnaire and studied its validity and reliability. Feline personality and behavior included seven traits: fearfulness, activity/playfulness, aggression toward humans, sociability toward humans, sociability toward cats, excessive grooming and litterbox issues. Breeds differed in all traits, and the questionnaire was reliable and valid. Our findings indicate that owner-completed questionnaires are valid sources of behavior data, and that some personality traits are more common in specific cat breeds. Breed differences, however, should be examined with more complex models, taking other factors, such as the age of the cat, into account. Domestic cats are popular pets, and they have personalities, with stable behavior differences between individuals. Lately, feline behavior and personality have been studied with different approaches, for example, with owner-completed questionnaires. The majority of these studies, however, lack a sufficient validation and reliability assessment of the questionnaires used. We designed an online feline behavior and personality questionnaire to collect cat behavior data from their owners. Then, we ran a factor analysis to study the structure of personality and behavior in a dataset of over 4300 cats. For validation, we studied the internal consistency, test-retest reliability, inter-rater reliability, convergent validity and discriminant validity of this questionnaire and extracted factors. In addition, we briefly examined breed differences in the seven discovered factors: fearfulness, activity/playfulness, aggression toward humans, sociability toward humans, sociability toward cats, excessive grooming and litterbox issues. Most of the rank ordering of breeds within each trait paralleled what has been found in previous studies. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire and factors were good, strengthening owner-completed questionnaires as a method to collect behavioral data from pet animals. Breed differences suggest a genetic background for personality. However, these differences should be studied further with multidimensional models, including environmental and biological variables.
  • Saarinen, Aino I. L.; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa; Lehtimäki, Terho; Jula, Antti; Cloninger, C. Robert; Hintsanen, Mirka (2020)
    Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate (i) whether somatic complaints predict the developmental course of compassion in adulthood, and (ii) whether this association depends on alexithymic features. Methods: The participants came from the population-based Young Finns study (N = 471-1037). Somatic complaints (headache, stomachache, chest pain, backache, fatigue, exhaustion, dizziness, heartburn, heartbeat, and tension) were evaluated with a self-rating questionnaire in 1986 when participants were aged between 18 and 24 years. Compassion was assessed with the Compassion Scale of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) in 1997, 2001, and 2012. The data were analyzed using growth curve models. Results: We obtained a significant compassion-age interaction (B = -0.137, p =.02) and a compassion -age squared interaction (B = 0.007, p =.006), when predicting the course of somatic complaints. Specifically, in participants without frequent somatic complaints, compassion steadily increased with age in adulthood. In participants with frequent somatic complaints, however, compassion remained at a lower level until the age of 40 years, then started to increase, and achieved the normal level of compassion approximately at the age of 50 years. The association between somatic complaints and compassion over age was found to be independent of alexithymic features. The analyses were adjusted for a variety of covariates (age, gender, use of health care in childhood, depression in childhood, parental socioeconomic factors, parental care-giving practices, stressful life events, parental alcohol intoxication, and participants' socioeconomic factors in adulthood). Conclusion: Frequent somatic complaints may predict delayed development of compassion in adulthood. This association was found to be independent of alexithymic features.
  • Saarinen, Aino I. L.; Keltikangas-Jarvinen, Liisa; Pulkki-Raback, Laura; Cloninger, Claude Robert; Elovainio, Marko; Lehtimaki, Terho; Raitakari, Olli; Hintsanen, Mirka (2020)
    We investigated the associations of individual's compassion for others with his/her affective and cognitive well-being over a long-term follow-up. We used data from the prospective Young Finns Study (N = 1312-1699) between 1997-2012. High compassion was related to higher indicators of affective well-being: higher positive affect (B = 0.221, p <.001), lower negative affect (B = -0.358, p <.001), and total score of affective well-being (the relationship of positive versus negative affect) (B = 0.345, p <.001). Moreover, high compassion was associated with higher indicators of cognitive well-being: higher social support (B = 0.194, p <.001), life satisfaction (B = 0.149, p <.001), subjective health (B = 0.094, p <.001), optimism (B = 0.307, p <.001), and total score of cognitive well-being (B = 0.265, p <.001). Longitudinal analyses showed that high compassion predicted higher affective well-being over a 15-year follow-up (B = 0.361, p <.001) and higher social support over a 10-year follow-up (B = 0.230, p <.001). Finally, compassion was more likely to predict well-being (B = [-0.076; 0.090]) than vice versa, even though the predictive relationships were rather modest by magnitude.
  • Dobewall, Henrik; Hakulinen, Christian; Pulkki-Raback, Laura; Seppälä, Ilkka; Lehtimäki, Terho; Raitakari, I. T.; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa; Hintsanen, Mirka (2018)
    The oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) may function as a "plasticity gene" that increases or decreases sociability in those individuals susceptible to growing up in a beneficial versus more adverse environment. This study used data from 2289 (55% female) participants from the ongoing prospective Young Finns Study. Maternal emotional warmth was assessed in 1980 when the participants were 3-18 years old. Participants' sociability temperament was measured at five follow-ups, from 1992 to 2012. Emotional warmth in childhood and OXTR genotype were not directly associated with temperamental sociability. We found a nominally significant gene environment interaction (p = .03) suggesting that participants with a genetic profile of rs1042778 T-allele and rs2254298 A-allele are affected high versus low emotional warmth, whereas homozygotes of both G-alleles are unaffected by the same environmental influence. Our findings should be, however, interpreted as a null result as the interaction effect did not survive correction for multiple testing.
  • Morales-Munoz, Isabel; Partonen, Timo; Saarenpää-Heikkilä, Outi; Kylliäinen, Anneli; Pölkki, Pirjo; Porkka-Heiskanen, Tarja; Paunio, Tiina; Paavonen, E. Juulia (2019)
    Background: Chronotype is a construct contributing to individual differences in sleep-wake timing. Previous studies with children have found that evening-types exhibit greater sleep difficulties. Infant sleep quality can be modulated by several factors, such as parental characteristics. We examined the association between parental circadian preference and sleep in early childhood. Methods: This study was based on a longitudinal birth cohort, with several measurement points. We used information regarding parental questionnaires during pregnancy and children's sleep measures at three, eight, 18 and 24 months. In total, 1220 mothers, 1116 fathers, 993 infants at three months, 990 infants at eight months, 958 children at 18 months, and 777 children at 24 months were analyzed. Parental circadian preference was measured using the Horne-Ostberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire. Concerning children's sleep, we used the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire (BISQ) and the Infant Sleep Questionnaire (ISQ) at each time point. Results: Maternal circadian preference was associated with infants' circadian rhythm development at three, eight, 18 and 24 months. Furthermore, increased maternal eveningness was also related to short sleep during daytime at three months, and nighttime at three and eight months, to long sleep-onset latency at three, 18 and 24 months, to late bedtime at three, eight and 18 months, and to sleep difficulties at eight and 24 months. Paternal circadian preference was not associated with any sleep variable at any time point. Conclusion: Maternal circadian preference is related to several sleep difficulties in early childhood, and it may be considered a potential risk factor for the onset of early sleeping problems. (c) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Zwir, Igor; Arnedo, Javier; Del-Val, Coral; Pulkki-Råback, Laura; Konte, Bettina; Yang, Sarah S.; Romero-Zaliz, Rocio; Hintsanen, Mirka; Cloninger, Kevin M.; Garcia, Danilo; Svrakic, Dragan M.; Rozsa, Sandor; Martinez, Maribel; Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka; Giegling, Ina; Kähönen, Mika; Hernandez-Cuervo, Helena; Seppälä, Ilkka; Raitoharju, Emma; de Erausquin, Gabriel A.; Raitakari, Olli; Rujescu, Dan; Postolache, Teodor T.; Sung, Joohon; Keltikangas-Jarvinen, Liisa; Lehtimäki, Terho; Cloninger, C. Robert (2020)
    Human personality is 30-60% heritable according to twin and adoption studies. Hundreds of genetic variants are expected to influence its complex development, but few have been identified. We used a machine learning method for genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to uncover complex genotypic-phenotypic networks and environmental interactions. The Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) measured the self-regulatory components of personality critical for health (i.e., the character traits of self-directedness, cooperativeness, and self-transcendence). In a discovery sample of 2149 healthy Finns, we identified sets of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that cluster within particular individuals (i.e., SNP sets) regardless of phenotype. Second, we identified five clusters of people with distinct profiles of character traits regardless of genotype. Third, we found 42 SNP sets that identified 727 gene loci and were significantly associated with one or more of the character profiles. Each character profile was related to different SNP sets with distinct molecular processes and neuronal functions. Environmental influences measured in childhood and adulthood had small but significant effects. We confirmed the replicability of 95% of the 42 SNP sets in healthy Korean and German samples, as well as their associations with character. The identified SNPs explained nearly all the heritability expected for character in each sample (50 to 58%). We conclude that self-regulatory personality traits are strongly influenced by organized interactions among more than 700 genes despite variable cultures and environments. These gene sets modulate specific molecular processes in brain for intentional goal-setting, self-reflection, empathy, and episodic learning and memory.