Session 8 abstracts

Welcome to session 8 on day 2 (12:10 – 13:10)




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Track 1 - Environmental influences, mental health and cognitive development

Decision-making difficulties mediate the association between poor emotion regulation and eating disorder symptoms in adolescence
Study: Millennium Cohort Study

Marta Francesconi, University College London

Co-authors: Amy Harrison and Eirini Flouri

This study investigated whether decision-making difficulties mediate the relationship between poor self-regulation and the onset of eating disorders (EDs) during young adulthood. Using data from the Millennium Cohort Study we found evidence for mediation by three measures of decision-making at age 11 (poor quality of decision-making, delay aversion, and low risk-adjustment) in the association between emotional dysregulation across ages 3–7 and ED symptoms at age 14, even after adjusting for relevant covariates. The findings suggest that emotion regulation processes during childhood may be relevant for the future onset of ED symptoms via their association with decision-making skills.

Residential sorting on environmental media information exposure
Study: Millennium Cohort Study

Yi Wu, University of Reading

Co-authors: Donghui Li and Alan Tidwell

This paper investigates the causes and effects of environmental media information exposure on the residential location decision. Media coverage on the environmental issues leads to the increased environmental awareness over networks and virtual communities. We document that: a) Negative environmental media news increases the possibility of changing homes to areas with larger green space; however, (b) Positive environmental media news does not effect on moving decision. Family income, education, and employment play an important role. This paper provides practical information on the causes of residential sorting from the perspective of environmental information assimilation.

Introduction of fruit juice and sweet beverages before 6 months of age and early childhood caries
Study: ELFE

Josephine Kerguen, Université Paris Cité

Co-authors: Dufourg MN, Bonnet AL, Vital S, Nabet C, Azogui-Lévy S, Ancel PY, Charles MA, Kaminski M, Germa A

Very early dietary habits may play an important role on early childhood caries. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the introduction of sweet beverages (including fruit juice)  into the baby’s diet before 6 months of age and the presence of ECC at 3.5 years based on the French ELFE birth cohort data. Among the 10,921 children, ECC was present in 3%. The introduction of sweet beverages before 6 months was associated with a higher risk of ECC (OR = 1.5, CI95% [1.1; 2.1], p = 0.009), reinforcing the importance of very early prevention.

The role of the built environment in the trajectories of cognitive ability and mental health across early and middle childhood: Results from a street audit tool in a general-population birth cohort.
Study: Millennium Cohort Study

Marta Francesconi, University College London

Co-authors: Eirini Flouri, and James Kirkbride

This study used data from the Millennium Cohort Study to investigate the association between the built environment and children’s mental health and cognitive abilities. The study considered several measures to describe the built environment, including neighbourhood disorder, area green space, air pollution, urbanicity, and neighbourhood socio-economic disadvantage. Using growth curve modelling, the study found that neighbourhood disorder was associated with emotional symptoms and conduct problems at age 3 and with the trajectory of cognitive ability from ages 3 to 11, while green space and air pollution had no effect. The findings suggest the importance of specific aspects of the built environment for mental health and cognition during childhood.

Track 2 - Symposium: Mental health, social adversity, and health-related outcomes in sexual minority adolescents

Mental health, social adversity, and health-related outcomes in sexual minority adolescents: a contemporary national cohort study

Study: Millennium Cohort Study

Rebekah Amos, University of Bangor

Sexual minority adolescents are more likely to have mental health problems, adverse social environments, and negative health outcomes compared with their heterosexual counterparts. There is a paucity of up-to-date population-level estimates of the extent of risk across these domains in the UK. We analysed outcomes across mental health, social environment, and health-related domains in sexual minority adolescents compared with their heterosexual counterparts in a large, contemporary national cohort (the MCS).

The onset of mental health difficulties in sexual minority youth: evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study

Study: Millennium Cohort Study

Charlotte Booth, UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies

Sexual minority youth show increased risk for mental health problems, including depression, self-harm, and suicidality. However, the timing and onset of mental health problems in this population are unclear. Using data from the Millennium Cohort Study, we constructed trajectories for parent-reported child adjustment outcomes on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire across five waves (age 5–17 years) and compared trajectories by sexual identity, collected at age 17 by self-report. We found that sexual minority adolescents showed heightened peer problems from age 7, and heightened emotional symptoms from age 11, which widened across adolescence – highlighting the need for early intervention.

Weight-related concerns and behaviours among gender and sexual minority adolescents: Evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort Study

Study: Millennium Cohort Study

Madelaine Davies Kellock, University College London

Studies have shown that sexual minority adolescents report more body image concerns than their heterosexual counterparts. Evidence from North America also suggests that youth identifying as transgender or non-binary are at increased risk for body image concerns and disordered eating behaviours. Using Millennium Cohort Study data, we explore whether weight-related concerns and weight-control behaviours (dieting and exercise for weight loss) vary within sexual minority groups and present new evidence around weight-related concerns and behaviours among adolescents identifying as transgender or non-binary in the United Kingdom.

Asthma disparities by sexual minority status in the UK: a multi-dataset investigation

Study: Millennium Cohort Study

Evangeline Tabor, University College London

Limited international research suggests sexual minority individuals, in particular sexual minority women, may experience worse asthma outcomes than their heterosexual peers. However, little to no research has explored if a similar disparity is present in the UK. Focusing on the MCS cohort, we will present our findings from a multi-dataset analysis aimed at exploring patterns of asthma reporting in the UK, including by selected demographic characteristics. This analysis adds substantially to our understanding of asthma disparities by sexual minority status in the UK, in particular their patterning across the lifecourse.

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