Browsing by Subject "TEMPERAMENT"

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  • Oksman, Elli; Rosenstrom, Tom; Hintsanen, Mirka; Pulkki-Raback, Laura; Viikari, Jorma; Lehtimaki, Terho; Raitakari, Olli Tuomas; Keltikangas-Jarvinen, Liisa (2018)
    Sociability and social domain-related behaviors have been associated with better well-being and endogenous oxytocin levels. Inspection of the literature, however, reveals that the effects between sociability and health outcomes, or between sociability and genotype, are often weak or inconsistent. In the field of personality psychology, the social phenotype is often measured by error-prone assessments based on different theoretical frameworks, which can partly explain the inconsistency of the previous findings. In this study, we evaluated the generalizability of "sociability" measures by partitioning the population variance in adulthood sociability using five indicators from three personality inventories and assessed in two to four follow-ups over a 15-year period (n = 1,573 participants, 28,323 person-observations; age range 20-50 years). Furthermore, we tested whether this variance partition would shed more light to the inconsistencies surrounding the "social" genotype, by using four genetic variants (rs1042778, rs2254298, rs53576, rs3796863) previously associated with a wide range of human social functions. Based on our results, trait (between-individual) variance explained 23% of the variance in overall sociability, differences between sociability indicators explained 41%, state (within-individual) variance explained 5% and measurement errors explained 32%. The genotype was associated only with the sociability indicator variance, suggesting it has specific effects on sentimentality and emotional sharing instead of reflecting general sociability.
  • Elovainio, Marko; Hakulinen, Christian; Pulkki-Raback, Laura; Juonala, Markus; Raitakari, Olli T. (2020)
    We modeled early psychosocial risks as a network of interconnected variables to study their associations with later depressive symptoms and cardiometabolic outcomes. The participants were a nationally representative sample of 2580 men and women aged 3-18 years in 1980. Their parents reported the psychosocial risks in 1980, including the following: (1) child-specific life events, (2) parental health behavior, (3) parental socioeconomic status, and (4) parental psychological problems. Adulthood depressive symptoms and cardiometabolic outcomes were measured in 2007-2012. The most central risks (most number of connections to other risks) were socioeconomic risks that also predicted health outcomes more consistently than others.
  • Oksman, Elli; Rosenström, Tom; Gluschkoff, Kia; Saarinen, Aino; Hintsanen, Mirka; Pulkki-Råback, Laura; Viikari, Jorma; Raitakari, Olli Tuomas; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa (2019)
    Sociability is a widely studied trait that has been linked both with individual well-and ill-being. Although early childcare has been shown to affect social competence in children, its role in the development of different aspects of adulthood sociability is poorly understood. Using a longitudinal population-based sample (N = 464), this study investigated whether childcare arrangements at ages 3 or 6 are associated with self-reported adulthood sociability at ages 20 to 35 years. A total of five aspects of sociability were measured using three well-established personality inventories (EAS, NEO-FFI, and TCI). Multilevel modeling was applied to examine the association between early care and adulthood sociability, adjusting for several sources of random variation (between-individual variance, within-individual variance between measurement times, variance between used sociability indicators, and error variance that cannot be attributed to the previously mentioned) and potential confounders (disruptive behavior in childhood, parental socio-economic status, parent-child relationship quality, maternal age, and the number of children in the family). Based on our results, in comparison to home care, family daycare and center-based daycare at age 3 and center-based daycare at age 6 were associated with higher sociability later in life. The association was strongest for aspects of sociability that emphasize the willingness to be surrounded by other people and to be attached to them. In other words, characteristics of early care may contribute uniquely to the development of these aspects of sociability with effects that persist into adult life
  • Suhonen, Eira; Sajaniemi, Nina K.; Alijoki, Alisa; Nislin, Mari A. (2018)
    We aimed to investigate stress response regulation, temperament, cognitive and language abilities and family SES in children who entered kindergarten before two years of age. Whilst childrens stress regulatory systems are vulnerable to environmental influences little is known about how temperament and family characteristics impact on stress regulation in early years. Participants were 129 children (age 7 to 23 months) from 29 kindergartens. Stress response regulation was assessed by measuring salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase activity. Cognitive and language abilities were assessed using Bayley-III and children temperament with ECBQ-questionnaire. Family characteristics were assessed with surveys. Results suggest that children are alerted during kindergarten day, but their stress response regulation is balanced. Girls and boys differed in cognitive and language abilities. We propose that childrens individual needs should be better acknowledged in kindergartens.
  • Veijalainen, Jouni; Reunamo, Jyrki; Sajaniemi, Nina; Suhonen, Eira (2019)
    Background: A large body of earlier research has focused on studying children's self-regulation (SR) skills and frustration with different methods. However, considerably less attention has been given to hearing children's own voice. The current study sought to demonstrate children's own comprehension and highlight it as a valuable and unique tendency to fill the scientific gap in the research area. Aim: This research aimed to contribute the empirical understanding of how SR, as mental ability, supported children's coping strategies and comprehensions which they will possibly use in a hypothetical frustrated context in the Finnish early childhood education and care (ECEC) environment. Setting: Self-regulation and strategies in a frustrating context were studied with mixed methods in a sample (n = 383) of 48-87-month-old children in Finland. Self-regulation was assessed by their own teachers with an evaluation form. The coping strategies of frustration were studied by interview where the children's open-ended descriptions provided the strategies told by themselves. Methods: The study's was conducted by using mixed methods. Two independent instruments to measure SR and strategies for frustration were used. Self-regulation was assessed by teacher with an evaluation form. The coping strategies of frustration were studied via child interview. Results: Good SR skills were related to persistent coping strategies and not giving up in a simulated situation. Weak SR skills related more with uncertain or withdrawal coping strategies, like giving up, or abandoning the situation. Conclusion: Self-regulation skills have an important role in guiding children with their use and narration of suitable coping strategies on overcoming the frustration effectively. The concrete strategies would allow teachers to work concretely with children in enhancing their SR skills and coping strategies further.
  • Veijalainen, Jouni; Reunamo, Jyrki; Heikkilä, Minna (2021)
    This paper aims to determine possible gender differences in children’s observed emotional expressions and their relationship with teacher-rated self-regulation (SR) skills in the setting of early childhood education and care (ECEC). Supporting SR and emotional wellbeing in early childhood can be considered a favourable pathway towards holistic development (e.g. Shonkoff et al. [2012]. The lifelong effects of early childhood adversity and toxic stress. Pediatrics, 129(1), e232–e246; Bagdi & Vacca [2005]. Supporting early childhood social-emotional well being: The building blocks for early learning and school success. Early Childhood Education Journal, 33(3), 145–150). The participants included 1213 (44.2%) boys and 1075 (41.0%) girls which were 13–83 months old. The SR data was collected through an evaluation instrument. Emotional expressions (N = 50480) were observed with an independent instrument. The results indicated how girls were observed to have more neutral, calm or peaceful-related emotional expressions, while boys tended to express more surprise, curiosity, anger or frustration-related emotions. Boys’ and girls’ ability for SR was related to their emotional expressions. Boys’ and girls’ SR skills had the same tendency in weak, moderate and good SR categories.
  • Tiira, Katriina; Lohi, Hannes (2015)
    Personality and anxiety disorders across species are affected by genetic and environmental factors. Shyness-boldness personality continuum exists across species, including the domestic dog, with a large within-and across-breed variation. Domestic dogs are also diagnosed for several anxiety-related behavioral conditions, such as generalized anxiety disorders, phobias, and separation anxiety. Genetic and environmental factors contributing to personality and anxiety are largely unknown. We collected questionnaire data from a Finnish family dog population (N = 3264) in order to study the associating environmental factors for canine fearfulness, noise sensitivity, and separation anxiety. Early life experiences and exercise were found to associate with anxiety prevalence. We found that fearful dogs had less socialization experiences (p = 0.002) and lower quality of maternal care (p <0.0001) during puppyhood. Surprisingly, the largest environmental factor associating with noise sensitivity (p <0.0001) and separation anxiety (p = 0.007) was the amount of daily exercise; dogs with noise sensitivity and separation anxiety had less daily exercise. Our findings suggest that dogs share many of the same environmental factors that contribute to anxiety in other species as well, such as humans and rodents. Our study highlights the importance of early life experiences, especially the quality of maternal care and daily exercise for the welfare and management of the dogs, and reveals important confounding factors to be considered in the genetic characterization of canine anxiety.
  • Wesolowska, Karolina; Elovainio, Marko; Hintsa, Taina; Jokela, Markus; Pulkki-Raback, Laura; Pitkänen, Niina; Lipsanen, Jari; Tukiainen, Janne; Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka; Lehtimäki, Terho; Juonala, Markus; Raitakari, Olli; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa (2017)
    Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been associated with depressive symptoms, but the causal direction of this association and the underlying mechanisms, such as increased glucose levels, remain unclear. We used instrumental-variable regression with a genetic instrument (Mendelian randomization) to examine a causal role of increased glucose concentrations in the development of depressive symptoms. Data were from the population-based Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study (n = 1217). Depressive symptoms were assessed in 2012 using a modified Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-I). Fasting glucose was measured concurrently with depressive symptoms. A genetic risk score for fasting glucose (with 35 single nucleotide polymorphisms) was used as an instrumental variable for glucose. Glucose was not associated with depressive symptoms in the standard linear regression (B = -0.04, 95% CI [-0.12, 0.04], p = .34), but the instrumental-variable regression showed an inverse association between glucose and depressive symptoms (B = -0.43, 95% CI [-0.79, -0.07], p = .020). The difference between the estimates of standard linear regression and instrumental-variable regression was significant (p = .026) Our results suggest that the association between T2D and depressive symptoms is unlikely to be caused by increased glucose concentrations. It seems possible that T2D might be linked to depressive symptoms due to low glucose levels.
  • Dobewall, Henrik; Savelieva, Kateryna; Seppälä, Ilkka; Knafo-Noam, Ariel; Hakulinen, Christian; Elovainio, Marko; Keltikangas-Jarvinen, Liisa; Pulkki-Råback, Laura; Raitakari, Olli T.; Lehtimäki, Terho; Hintsanen, Mirka (2019)
    Background Genomic analysis of the child might offer new potential to illuminate human parenting. We examined whether offspring (G2) genome-wide genotype variation (SNPs) is associated with their mother's (G1) emotional warmth and intolerance, indicating a gene-environment correlation. If this association is stronger than between G2 ' s genes and their emotional warmth and intolerance toward their own children, then this would indicate the presence of an evocative gene-environment correlation. To further understand how G1 mother's parenting has been evoked by genetically influenced characteristics of the child (G2), we examined whether child (G2) temperament partially accounted for the association between offspring genes and parental responses. Methods Participants were from the Young Finns Study. G1 mothers (N = 2,349; mean age 39 years) self-reported the emotional warmth and intolerance toward G2 in 1980 when the participants were from 3 to 18 years old. G2 participants answered the same parenting scales in 2007/2012 (N = 1,378; mean age = 38 years in 2007; 59% female) when their children were on average 11 years old. Offspring temperament traits were self-reported in 1992 (G2 age range 15-30 years). Estimation of the phenotypic variance explained by the SNPs of G2 was done by genome-wide complex trait analysis with restricted maximum likelihood (GCTA-GREML). Results Results showed that the SNPs of a child (G2) explained 22.6% of the phenotypic variance of maternal intolerance (G1; p-value = .039). G2 temperament trait negative emotionality explained only 2.4% points of this association. G2 genes did not explain G1 emotional warmth or G2 ' s own emotional warmth and intolerance. However, further analyses of a combined measure of both G1 parenting scales found genetic effects. Parent or child gender did not moderate the observed associations. Conclusions Presented genome-wide evidence is pointing to the important role a child plays in affecting and shaping his/her family environment, though the underlying mechanisms remain unclear.
  • Berg, Venla; Lummaa, Virpi; Rickard, Ian J.; Silventoinen, Karri; Kaprio, Jaakko; Jokela, Markus (2016)
    Personality has been associated with reproductive success in humans and other animals, suggesting potential evolutionary selection pressures. However, studies to date have only examined these associations on a phenotypic level, which may be inadequate in estimating evolutionary change. Using a large longitudinal twin dataset of contemporary Finns, we compared the phenotypic (breeder's equation) and genetically informed (the Robertson-Price identity) associations between lifetime reproductive success (LRS) and two personality traits-neuroticism and extraversion. Neuroticism was not associated with LRS at the phenotypic nor genetic level, while extraversion was associated with higher LRS in men both phenotypically and genetically. Compared to the univariate phenotypic analysis, the genetic analysis suggested a larger selection response of extraversion, and a selection response of neuroticism due to indirect selection. We estimated that neuroticism decreases by .05 standard deviations and extraversion increases by .11 standard deviations by one generation. Our results highlight the importance of considering genetic associations between personality and fitness and investigating several inter-related personality traits and their covariance with each other to predict responses to selection more accurately.
  • van den Berg, Stephanie M.; de Moor, Marleen H. M.; McGue, Matt; Pettersson, Erik; Terracciano, Antonio; Verweij, Karin J. H.; Amin, Najaf; Derringer, Jaime; Esko, Tonu; van Grootheest, Gerard; Hansell, Narelle K.; Huffman, Jennifer; Konte, Bettina; Lahti, Jari; Luciano, Michelle; Matteson, Lindsay K.; Viktorin, Alexander; Wouda, Jasper; Agrawal, Arpana; Allik, Jueri; Bierut, Laura; Broms, Ulla; Campbell, Harry; Smith, George Davey; Eriksson, Johan G.; Ferrucci, Luigi; Franke, Barbera; Fox, Jean-Paul; de Geus, Eco J. C.; Giegling, Ina; Gow, Alan J.; Grucza, Richard; Hartmann, Annette M.; Heath, Andrew C.; Heikkilä, Kauko; Iacono, William G.; Janzing, Joost; Jokela, Markus; Kiemeney, Lambertus; Lehtimaki, Terho; Madden, Pamela A. F.; Magnusson, Patrik K. E.; Northstone, Kate; Nutile, Teresa; Ouwens, Klaasjan G.; Palotie, Aarno; Pattie, Alison; Pesonen, Anu-Katriina; Polasek, Ozren; Pulkkinen, Lea; Pulkki-Raback, Laura; Raitakari, Olli T.; Realo, Anu; Rose, Richard J.; Ruggiero, Daniela; Seppala, Ilkka; Slutske, Wendy S.; Smyth, David C.; Sorice, Rossella; Starr, John M.; Sutin, Angelina R.; Tanaka, Toshiko; Verhagen, Josine; Vermeulen, Sita; Vuoksimaa, Eero; Widen, Elisabeth; Willemsen, Gonneke; Wright, Margaret J.; Zgaga, Lina; Rujescu, Dan; Metspalu, Andres; Wilson, James F.; Ciullo, Marina; Hayward, Caroline; Rudan, Igor; Deary, Ian J.; Räikkönen, Katri; Vasquez, Alejandro Arias; Costa, Paul T.; Keltikangas-Jarvinen, Liisa; van Duijn, Cornelia M.; Penninx, Brenda W. J. H.; Krueger, Robert F.; Evans, David M.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Pedersen, Nancy L.; Martin, Nicholas G.; Boomsma, Dorret I. (2014)
  • Gluschkoff, Kia; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa; Pulkki-Råback, Laura; Jokela, Markus; Viikari, Jorma; Raitakari, Olli; Hintsanen, Mirka (2017)
    Background: Both hostile parenting and parental psychopathology have been shown to predict depression in the offspring. However, whether and how they interact in predicting the longitudinal course of depression from adolescence to adulthood remains unclear. Methods: Participants were from the prospective Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study, aged 3-18 years at baseline in 1980. We used multilevel modeling for repeated measurements to examine the associations of hostile parenting (i.e., parental intolerance and emotional distance) and parental history of psychopathology with trajectories of depressive symptoms across five study phases from 1992 to 2012. Results: On average, depressive symptoms decreased in a curvilinear pattern with age. A relatively steep decreasing trend was also observed among offspring of parents with a history of psychopathology but low intolerance. By contrast, among the offspring of parents with a history of psychopathology and high intolerance there was a rising trend in depressive symptoms starting from young adulthood. There was no similar interaction between parental history of psychopathology, emotional distance, and age. Limitations: Non-standardized, parental self-report scales were used to measure hostile parenting. The observed effects were small, and the depressive symptoms scale applied in the study may not be used for measuring clinical depression. Conclusions: Parental psychopathology might render individuals sensitive to the unfavorable characteristics of the caregiving environment. Intolerance towards the child can exacerbate the effects of parental psychopathology and have a long-term significance on the developmental trajectory of depressive symptoms over the life course.
  • Merjonen, P.; Keltikangas-Järvinen, L.; Jokela, M.; Seppälä, I.; Lyytikäinen, L.-P.; Pulkki-Råback, L.; Kivimäki, M.; Elovainio, M.; Kettunen, J.; Ripatti, S.; Kähönen, M.; Viikari, J.; Palotie, A.; Peltonen, L.; Raitakari, O. T.; Lehtimäki, T. (2011)
  • Toffol, Elena; Rantalainen, Ville; Lahti-Pulkkinen, Marius; Girchenko, Polina; Lahti, Jari; Tuovinen, Soile; Lipsanen, Jari; Villa, Pia M.; Laivuori, Hannele; Hämäläinen, Esa; Kajantie, Eero; Räikkönen, Katri (2019)
    Whether infant regulatory behavior problems already in the first month of life indicate an increased risk of childhood neurobehavioral problems, and whether maternal depression in the postpartum and early childhood underpins these associations remain unclear. Altogether, 2049-2364 mothers from the Prediction and Prevention of Pre-eclampsia and Intrauterine Growth Restriction (PREDO) study completed the Neonatal Perception Inventory on regulatory behavior problems at the infant's age of 15.6 days (SD 3.2, range 1-30), the Infant Behavior Questionnaire-Revised on temperament at 6.5 months (SD 0.9, range 4.2-12.4), and the Ages and Stages Questionnaire-3 on developmental milestones and the Child Behavior Checklist on behavioral problems at 3.5 years (SD 0.7, range 1.9-6.0). Maternal depressive symptoms were measured by the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (infancy follow-ups) and Beck Depression Inventory-II (childhood follow-up). Father-rated infant temperament and paternal depressive symptoms were also available (n = 1474). Higher levels of infant regulatory behavior problems predicted higher levels of mother- and father-rated negative affectivity temperament (0.13 SD units per SD unit, 95% confidence interval 0.09-0.17; and 0.09, 0.04-0.14, respectively), lower levels of mother-rated orienting/regulation temperament (- 0.09, - 0.13 to - 0.05) and problem-solving skills (- 0.12, - 0.21 to - 0.04), and higher levels of Externalizing (0.07, 0.03-0.11) and Total behavioral problems (0.07, 0.03-0.11). Regulatory behaviors partially mediated the effect of maternal depressive symptoms. Regulatory behavior problems already during the first month of life predict neurobehavioral outcomes, and partially mediate the effect of maternal depressive symptoms. Our study may inform design of interventions aimed at timely prevention in children at risk.
  • Tiira, Katriina; Tikkanen, Antti; Vainio, Outi (2020)
    Working dogs are used for a range of important operational tasks. Identifying potentially successful working dogs as early as possible is important as rejection rates are high and training is costly. Earlier research has mainly concentrated on personality traits such as boldness, and there is only little knowledge on the possible association between cognitive traits and the actual working dog performance. This study investigated whether motor inhibition, persistence, problem-solving strategies, and spatial problem-solving are associated with explosive detection success in specially trained police dogs. Dogs (N = 24) were tested with a cognitive test battery, and subsequently they participated in an explosive detection test. The explosive searching situation and the location of the test was such that it would reflect as much as possible a real-life situation. Canine handlers also filled in a questionnaire regarding their dog's working behaviour. We found that those dogs that were more successful in explosive detection task had better motor inhibition in a cylinder task compared to dogs with lower success in an explosive search task. Furthermore, we found that dogs that made more errors in the cylinder task were generally more likely to give up searching sooner, as reported by their handlers, and also abandon sooner the problem-solving task in behavioural test. This study suggests that inhibitory control, specifically motor inhibition, may be an important aspect to consider when selecting suitable dogs for explosive detection tasks. Cylinder task is an easy and quick way to assess inhibitory control, although a larger dataset is needed to verify its association with working performance.
  • Savelieva, Kateryna; Pulkki-Råback, Laura; Jokela, Markus; Hintsanen, Mirka; Merjonen, Päivi; Hutri-Kähönen, Nina; Juonala, Markus; Viikari, Jorma; Raitakari, Olli T.; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa (2017)
    Intergenerational continuity in parenting quality has been demonstrated but the mechanisms underlying this continuity are less understood. This study investigated whether the offspring personality and years of education mediate the continuity in qualities of the parent-child relationship and whether offspring personality moderates this association. The sample comprised 1308 Finnish offspring (G2; 62% female) and their mothers (G1). G1 (Mean age = 37.7) reported self-perceived qualities of the parent-child relationship in terms of emotional warmth and acceptance towards G2 aged 3-18 years in 1980. Thirty-two years later, once having become parents themselves, G2 (Mean age = 42.9) self-rated their own qualities of the parent-child relationship towards their children using the same scales. Between these follow-ups, G2 self-rated their personality (consisting of temperament and character traits) using the Temperament and Character Inventory and reported years of education. Results indicated that G2 character traits-Self-directedness and Cooperativeness-partially mediated the intergenerational continuity in self-perceived emotional warmth and explained 16% of this association. No mediating role of G2 temperament traits was found (all ps > .240). Character traits accounted for the indirect association better than education in a multiple mediator model. Moreover, no moderating role of either temperament or character traits was found (all psaEuroe.064). Study findings show that warm and accepting qualities of the parent-child relationship in childhood are related to offspring character traits that reflect personality maturity in adulthood, which in turn would predict their own positive parent-child relationship later in life.
  • Dobewall, Henrik; Hintsanen, Mirka; Savelieva, Kateryna; Hakulinen, Christian; Merjonen, Päivi; Gluschkoff, Kia; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa (2019)
    Intergenerational transmission of life satisfaction has been empirically established, but less is known about the continuity of satisfaction as being reflected across multiple life domains, unique effects of parental domain-specific satisfaction on offspring overall life satisfaction, and potential gender effects. In this population-based prospective study, the association between the life satisfaction of parents (G1) (2191 mothers and 2156 fathers) and their children (G2) (921 sons and 1277 daughters) was examined. In both generations, satisfaction as a parent, as a spouse, and at work was assessed in about the same developmental stage (mean age for G1 38--42 years, and for G2 38--43 years at the times when LS was measured). When both parents were considered jointly, only mothers' overall life satisfaction had an independent effect on their adult children's overall life satisfaction, with the effect diminishing over time. However, we also found a robust effect of paternal satisfaction at work on offspring's overall life satisfaction in adulthood. Gender of the offspring did not significantly moderate the strength of the associations between generations. The current findings emphasize the high interdependence of life satisfaction within families long after children have moved out of the parental home.
  • Savelieva, Kateryna; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa; Pulkki-Råback, Laura; Jokela, Markus; Lipsanen, Jari; Merjonen, Päivi; Viikari, Jorma; Raitakari, Olli T.; Hintsanen, Mirka (2017)
    We examined the intergenerational transmission of parent-child relationship qualities in a population-based Finnish sample of 1418 participants (G2) and their mothers (G1). At baseline, G1 (Mage=38) reported qualities of the parent-child relationship in terms of emotional warmth and acceptance towards G2 (age range 3-18). After 28years, G2 (Mage=39) rated the qualities of the parent-child relationship regarding their own children using the same questionnaire. Emotional warmth and acceptance were transmitted across generations even after controlling for demographic and family characteristics in both generations. The transmission was stronger for emotional warmth than acceptance. For emotional warmth, intergenerational transmission was stronger for men than women. The findings provide evidence for the long-term transmission of parenting quality across generations.
  • Wesolowska, Karolina; Elovainio, Marko; Hintsa, Taina; Jokela, Markus; Pulkki-Raback, Laura; Lipsanen, Jari; Juonala, Markus; Raitakari, Olli; Keltikangas-Jarvinen, Liisa (2018)
    Objective: Depressive symptoms have been associated with Type 2 diabetes, but the temporal direction of this association and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. The present study examined a potential bidirectional association between depressive symptoms and glucose levels in women and men, and the factors mediating this association. Method: The participants were from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, a prospective, population-based, cohort study (N = 2,534). Depressive symptoms were assessed using a modified Beck Depression Inventory. Fasting glucose was measured concurrently with depressive symptoms. To analyze the data, a multiple-group cross-lagged analysis and parallel multiple mediation in structural equation modeling were used. Results: Depressive symptoms in 2001 were positively associated with glucose levels in 2012 in women (beta = .07, p = .023) but not in men (beta = -.03, p = .45). This sex difference was statistically significant (p = .042). Glucose levels in 2001 did not predict depressive symptoms in 2012 in either women or men (ps = .96). Changes in body mass index, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, alcohol consumption, or tobacco or cigarette smoking did not mediate the observed association (ps > .05). Conclusions: The results showed a positive association between depressive symptoms and glucose levels in women but not in men. The direction of this relationship seems to be from depressive symptoms to glucose levels rather than the reverse. Changes in body fat, inflammation, alcohol consumption, or tobacco or cigarette smoking may not play a mediating role in this observed association.
  • Verrastro, Valeria; Ritella, Giuseppe; Saladino, Valeria; Pistella, Jessica; Baiocco, Roberto; Fontanesi, Lilybeth (2020)
    This study examines how family functioning, the parent-child relationship and personal factors are related to happiness in 1549 children aged 7 to 14 years old (53% females) in Italy. Children and pre-adolescents completed a set of questionnaires on self-rated happiness, self-concept and loneliness. At least one of their parents filled in questionnaires on family functioning, attachment and their child's happiness level. No gender differences were found in the direct measure of happiness, but younger participants were happier than older participants, according to both the children's and parents' evaluations. Happiness is influenced by positive self-concept, self-esteem and low levels of satisfaction but family functioning does not seem to play a major role. The clinical and social implications of the study are discussed.