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CeFH Genetic Friday: Genetically informed designs for causal inference in child and adolescent mental health research

Presentation by Jean-Baptiste Pingault, University College London

Presentation by Jean-Baptiste Pingault, University College London

5. Apr | 2019

Marcus Thranes gate 2, meeting room 2nd floor

About the speaker

Jean-Baptiste Pingault is a Lecturer at the Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology (CEPH), University College London (UCL), as well as a visiting researcher at the Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry centre, King’s College London (KCL).

About the presentation

Mental health is responsible for a substantial part of the burden of disease – up to 32% of years lived with disability. Mental health research – especially in young people – remains a high need-low investment area (Medical Research Foundation). Within the field of mental health research “We need to understand causes to better inform prevention” as highlighted in a British Medical Journal's editorial (2018) on young people's mental health. Accordingly, my research focuses on identifying causal risk factors for children's and adolescents' mental health. Recently, I published a Nature Review Genetics article on genetically informed methods for causal inference, arguing that genetics can help us to strengthen causal inference. I will present some of our published and current empirical research implementing such methods. In particular, I will present findings from the twin differences design and from polygenic score approaches to clarify the aetiology of a range of outcomes including ADHD symptoms, substance use, and bullying victimization.