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Offspring attachment in a three generation cohort: emerging psycho-social and epigenetic signals

conference contribution
posted on 2017-06-30, 00:00 authored by Jennifer Mcintosh, J Ryan, Christopher GreenwoodChristopher Greenwood, P Letcher, C Olsson, ATP-G3 consortium
The Australian Temperament Project Generation 3 Study (ATP-G3) commenced in 1983 and has followed around 2000 parents (Generation 1) and their offspring (Generation 2) from birth through their first three decades, across 16 waves of data. The study focuses on intergenerational determinants of parental mental health, caregiving behavior, offspring social-emotional development, offspring attachment behavior, and epigenetic programming of the offspring stress response.

This paper describes the attachment observational studies of Generation 3 ATP infants and pre-schoolers, which is providing the first intergenerational prospective data on attachment development in Australia. Strange Situation classification profiles are given for the nested cohorts to date (200 infants, and 60 pre-schoolers – anticipating 250 of each by end of 2019). Emerging prognostic signals of Generation 3 attachment status are presented, tracing several significant predictive pathways in the pre-conception window. These include temperament of parents at ages 1, 3, 5, and 7 years; substance use at ages 13, 17 and 19; pre-conception maternal anxiety, depression and stress at age 27; quality of grandparent relationship, and parent’s romantic relationship history and attachment styles at ages 27 and 29.

Finally, we describe the ATP-G3 bio-genetic team’s early work on quality of early social relationships and associated changes in gene promotor methylation across the epigenome. The prospectus of a pilot EWAS study is outlined, contrasting a sub-sample of thirty-two infants classified secure or disorganised, with comment on emergent associations within metabolic, immune, stress response, and other gene systems. We conclude with future directions for the ATP Generation 3 study of attachment, and its growing potential to advance knowledge of pre-conception predictive pathways in offspring attachment.

History

Pagination

1 - 1

Publisher

International Attachment Conference

Location

International Attachment. Conference (2017 : London, Eng.)

Place of publication

London, Eng.

Start date

2017-06-29

End date

2017-07-01

Language

eng

Publication classification

E3 Extract of paper

Copyright notice

2017, IAC

Extent

Conference Paper

Editor/Contributor(s)

Unknown

Title of proceedings

IAC 2017 : Putting attachment theory to work : From basic science to clinical application : Proceedings of the 2017 International Attachment Conference

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