Optimizing adult mental health outcomes in children with neurodevelopmental problems: interplay of social and genetic factors.

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: School of Medicine


ADHD is a common, impairing and stigmatising condition. ADHD is associated with increased risk of later mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and antisocial behaviour, but there is considerable variation in outcomes. It is not clear why children with ADHD are at high risk of later mental health problems nor why some children with ADHD fare better than others when they grow older. The project has two main objectives: 1) to test risk mechanisms explaining links between ADHD and adult mental health, and 2) to identify protective factors that explain resilience. The PhD will address these questions using data from a population birth cohort, ALSPAC, with repeated multi-informant assessments of neurodevelopmental and mental health problems, and hypothesised genetic and social risk and protective factors from birth to age 25 years. The PhD will provide training in developmental psychopathology, epidemiology, and advanced longitudinal methods.


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