Matching Items (4)

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The Role of Parenting and Parental Pain in Children's Chronic Pain Experience

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Children's chronic pain has many contributing factors, including family environment, genetics, and parenting. Still, pediatric chronic pain remains understudied, and little research has been conducted on predictors of child pain

Children's chronic pain has many contributing factors, including family environment, genetics, and parenting. Still, pediatric chronic pain remains understudied, and little research has been conducted on predictors of child pain onset. This study aims to elucidate some of these factors by examining the role of parenting style and parental pain in children's chronic pain experience. The study answered the following questions: 1) Is child chronic pain heritable?; 2) Do parenting styles and/or parental pain predict child pain?; and 3) Is parenting style the mediating variable in the relation between parent pain and child pain? A twin study design was employed to account for both genetic and environmental influences in pain. Primary and secondary caregivers completed pain questionnaires regarding their own and their children's pain. The caregivers also completed questionnaires regarding their own parenting styles. Observer ratings were used as additional measures of primary caregiver parenting. Results indicated that child pain is heritable and that parental pain was significantly related to child pain. However, parenting style did not predict child pain and was not a mediator in the relationship between parental pain and child pain. Further research on other parenting factors or predictors of pain may lead to prevention of pediatric chronic pain or more effective management of child pain symptoms.

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  • 2018-05

The Perception of Genetic Risk: What Do We Know About Biological and Psychological Diseases and Where Did We Learn It

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As a biology major, many of my classes have included studying the fundamentals of genetics or investigating the way genetics influence heritability of certain diseases. When I began taking upper-division

As a biology major, many of my classes have included studying the fundamentals of genetics or investigating the way genetics influence heritability of certain diseases. When I began taking upper-division psychology courses, the genetic factors of psychological disorders became an important part of the material. I was exposed to a new idea: that genes were equally important in studying somatic diseases as they were to psychological disorders. As important as genetics are to psychology, they are not part of the required courses for the major; I found many of my peers in psychology courses did not have a grasp on genetic fundamentals in the same way biology majors did. This was a disconnect that I also found in my own life outside the classroom. Growing up, my mother consistently reminded me to limit my carbs and watch my sugars. Diabetes was very prevalent in my family and I was also at risk. I was repeatedly reminded of my own genes and the risk I faced in having this biological disorder. However, my friend whose father was an alcoholic did not warn her in the same way. While she did know of her father's history, she was not warned of the potential for her to become an alcoholic. While my behavior was altered due to my mother's warning and my own knowledge of the genetic risk of diabetes, I wondered if other people at genetic risk of psychological disorders also altered their behavior. Through my thesis, I hope to answer if students have the same perceived genetic knowledge of psychological diseases as they do for biological ones. In my experience, it is not as well known that psychological disorders have genetic factors. For example, alcohol is commonly used by college students. Alcohol use disorder is present in 16.2% of college aged students and "40-60% of the variance of risk explained by genetic influences." (DSM V, 2013) Compare this to diabetes that has "several common genetic variants that account for about 10% of the total genetic effects," but is much more openly discussed even though it is less genetically linked. (McVay, 2015)This stems from the stigma/taboo surrounding many psychological disorders. If students do know that psychological disorder are genetically influenced, I expect their knowledge to be skewed or inaccurate. As part of a survey, I hope to see how strong they believe the genetic risk of certain diseases are as well as where they gained this knowledge. I hypothesize that only students with a background in psychology will be able to correctly assign the genetic risk of the four presented diseases. Completing this thesis will require in-depth study of the genetic factors, an understanding of the way each disease is perceived and understood by the general population, and a statistical analysis of the survey responses. If the survey data turns out as I expect where students do not have a strong grasp of diseases that could potentially influence their own health, I hope to find a way to educate students on biological and psychological diseases, their genetic risk, and how to speak openly about them.

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  • 2018-05

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A Twin Study Approach to Toddler Mental Health: Maternal Depression, Discipline Practices, and Hispanic Ethnicity

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We examined the relations between maternal depression, discipline practices, and toddler mental health outcomes, specifically competence and total problem behavior. Ethnicity was considered as a moderator in all analyses. For

We examined the relations between maternal depression, discipline practices, and toddler mental health outcomes, specifically competence and total problem behavior. Ethnicity was considered as a moderator in all analyses. For the first time, ethnicity was considered as a moderator of the heritability of toddler competence and total problem behavior. The data came from the Arizona Twin Project. A subsample containing only Caucasian (66%) and Hispanic (34%; 87% of Mexican descent) participants was used. Primary caregivers (>95% mothers) reported on levels of maternal depression, discipline practices, and their twins' competency and problem behaviors. It was hypothesized that maternal depression would be associated with less competency and more problem behaviors in toddlers; inductive discipline practices would be associated with higher competency and fewer problem behaviors; and punitive discipline practices would be associated with lower competency and more problem behaviors. Ethnicity was predicted to moderate only the relation between discipline practices and toddler mental health. Consistent with predictions, maternal depression predicted less competency and more problem behaviors, and inductive discipline predicted higher competency and fewer problem behaviors, while punitive discipline predicted lower competency and more problem behaviors. Ethnicity moderated the relation between maternal depression at 12 months and total problem behaviors. The heritability of competence and total problem behavior varied across the Caucasian and Hispanic samples.

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  • 2015-05

Developing an infrastructure for biodistance research using deciduous dental phenotypes

Description

Bioarchaeologists often use dental data and spatial analysis of cemeteries to infer the biological and social structure of ancient communities. This approach is commonly referred to as biological distance (“biodistance”)

Bioarchaeologists often use dental data and spatial analysis of cemeteries to infer the biological and social structure of ancient communities. This approach is commonly referred to as biological distance (“biodistance”) analysis. While permanent crown data feature prominently in these efforts, few studies have verified the accuracy of biodistance methods for recognizing child relatives using deciduous teeth. Thus, as subadults comprise an essential demographic subset of mortuary assemblages, deciduous phenotypes may represent a critical but underutilized source of information on the underlying genetic structure of past populations. The goal of the dissertation is to​ quantitatively analyze the developmental program underlying deciduous phenotypes and​ to evaluate their performance in accurately reconstructing known genealogical relationships.​ This project quantifies morphological variation of deciduous and permanent tooth crowns from stone dental casts representing individuals of known pedigree deriving from three distinct populations: European Canadians, European Australians, and Aboriginal Australians.

To address the paucity of deciduous-focused validation research, phenotypic distances generated from the dental data are subjected to performance analyses (biodistance simulations) and compared to genetic distances between individuals. While family-specific results vary, crown morphology performs moderately well in distinguishing relatives from non-relatives. Comparisons between deciduous and permanent results (i.e., Euclidean distances, Mantel tests, multidimensional scaling output) indicate that deciduous crown variation provides a more direct reflection of the underlying genetic structure of pedigreed samples. The morphology data are then analyzed within a quantitative genetic framework using maximum likelihood variance components analysis. Novel narrow-sense heritability and pleiotropy estimates are generated for the complete suite of deciduous and permanent crown characters, which facilitates comparisons between samples, traits, dentitions, arcades, antimeres, metameres, scoring standards, and dichotomization breakpoints. Results indicate wide-ranging but moderate heritability estimates for morphological traits, as well as low to moderate integration for characters within (deciduous-deciduous; permanent-permanent) and between (deciduous-permanent) dentitions. On average, deciduous and permanent homologues are more strongly genetically correlated than characters within the same tooth row. Results are interpreted with respect to dental development and biodistance methodology. Ultimately, the dissertation empirically validates the use of dental morphology as a proxy for underlying genetic information, including deciduous characters.

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Date Created
  • 2017