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Concept: Mediation


Greater fish consumption is associated with improved cognition among children, but the mediating pathways have not been well delineated. Improved sleep could be a candidate mediator of the fish-cognition relationship. This study assesses whether 1) more frequent fish consumption is associated with less sleep disturbances and higher IQ scores in schoolchildren, 2) such relationships are not accounted for by social and economic confounds, and 3) sleep quality mediates the fish-IQ relationship. In this cohort study of 541 Chinese schoolchildren, fish consumption and sleep quality were assessed at age 9-11 years, while IQ was assessed at age 12. Frequent fish consumption was related to both fewer sleep problems and higher IQ scores. A dose-response relationship indicated higher IQ scores in children who always (4.80 points) or sometimes (3.31 points) consumed fish, compared to those who rarely ate fish (all p < 0.05). Sleep quality partially mediated the relationship between fish consumption and verbal, but not performance, IQ. Findings were robust after controlling for multiple sociodemographic covariates. To our knowledge, this is the first study to indicate that frequent fish consumption may help reduce sleep problems (better sleep quality), which may in turn benefit long-term cognitive functioning in children.

Concepts: Sleep, Sleep disorder, Cognition, Mediation, Narcolepsy


To investigate the association between breast feeding and intergenerational social mobility and the possible mediating role of neurological and stress mechanisms.

Concepts: The Association, Mediation, Sunshine pop, Social mobility


Psychosocial stress is a suggested risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). The relationship of stress resilience in adolescence with subsequent CHD risk is underinvestigated, so our objective was to assess this and investigate the possible mediating role of physical fitness.

Concepts: Heart, Middle Ages, Heart disease, Mediation


Several classic studies have concluded that the accuracy of identifying uncontrollable situations depends heavily on depressive mood. Nondepressed participants tend to exhibit an optimistic illusion of control, whereas depressed participants tend to better detect a lack of control. Recently, we suggested that the different activity levels (measured as the probability of responding during a contingency learning task) exhibited by depressed and nondepressed individuals is partly responsible for this effect. The two studies presented in this paper provide further support for this mediational hypothesis, in which mood is the distal cause of the illusion of control operating through activity level, the proximal cause. In Study 1, the probability of responding, P®, was found to be a mediator variable between the depressive symptoms and the judgments of control. In Study 2, we intervened directly on the mediator variable: The P® for both depressed and nondepressed participants was manipulated through instructions. Our results confirm that P® manipulation produced differences in the participants' perceptions of uncontrollability. Importantly, the intervention on the mediator variable cancelled the effect of the distal cause; the participants' judgments of control were no longer mood dependent when the P® was manipulated. This result supports the hypothesis that the so-called depressive realism effect is actually mediated by the probability of responding.

Concepts: Intervention, Bipolar disorder, Mediation, The Mediator


This study investigated relationships between attachment insecurity, maladaptive cognitive schemas, and various types of psychopathological symptoms in a sample of clinically referred adolescents (N = 82). A mediation model was tested in which maladaptive schemas operated as mediators in the relations between indices of attachment quality and conduct, peer, and emotional problems. Results revealed partial support for the hypothesized mediation effect: the schema domain of disconnection/rejection acted as a mediator in the links between insecure attachment and peer problems and emotional problems. Further analysis of these effects revealed that different types of maladaptive schemas were involved in both types of psychopathology. Altogether, findings suggest that treatment of adolescent psychological problems may need to target the improvement of attachment relationships with peers and parents and the correction of underlying cognitive schemas.

Concepts: Psychology, Adolescence, Psychiatry, Attachment theory, Mediation, Peer group, Family therapy, John Bowlby


Coastal and shelf environments support high levels of biodiversity that are vital in mediating ecosystem processes, but they are also subject to noise associated with mounting levels of offshore human activity. This has the potential to alter the way in which species interact with their environment, compromising the mediation of important ecosystem properties. Here, we show that exposure to underwater broadband sound fields that resemble offshore shipping and construction activity can alter sediment-dwelling invertebrate contributions to fluid and particle transport - key processes in mediating benthic nutrient cycling. Despite high levels of intra-specific variability in physiological response, we find that changes in the behaviour of some functionally important species can be dependent on the class of broadband sound (continuous or impulsive). Our study provides evidence that exposing coastal environments to anthropogenic sound fields is likely to have much wider ecosystem consequences than are presently acknowledged.

Concepts: Biodiversity, Species, Ecology, Natural environment, Sustainability, Invertebrate, Environmental science, Mediation


Although it is assumed that epigenetic mechanisms, such as changes in DNA methylation (DNAm), underlie the relationship between adverse intrauterine conditions and adult metabolic health, evidence from human studies remains scarce. Therefore, we evaluated whether DNAm in whole blood mediated the association between prenatal famine exposure and metabolic health in 422 individuals exposed to famine in utero and 463 (sibling) controls. We implemented a two-step analysis, namely, a genome-wide exploration across 342,596 cytosine-phosphate-guanine dinucleotides (CpGs) for potential mediators of the association between prenatal famine exposure and adult body mass index (BMI), serum triglycerides (TG), or glucose concentrations, which was followed by formal mediation analysis. DNAm mediated the association of prenatal famine exposure with adult BMI and TG but not with glucose. DNAm at PIM3 (cg09349128), a gene involved in energy metabolism, mediated 13.4% [95% confidence interval (CI), 5 to 28%] of the association between famine exposure and BMI. DNAm at six CpGs, including TXNIP (cg19693031), influencing β cell function, and ABCG1 (cg07397296), affecting lipid metabolism, together mediated 80% (95% CI, 38.5 to 100%) of the association between famine exposure and TG. Analyses restricted to those exposed to famine during early gestation identified additional CpGs mediating the relationship with TG near PFKFB3 (glycolysis) and METTL8 (adipogenesis). DNAm at the CpGs involved was associated with gene expression in an external data set and correlated with DNAm levels in fat depots in additional postmortem data. Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that epigenetic mechanisms mediate the influence of transient adverse environmental factors in early life on long-term metabolic health. The specific mechanism awaits elucidation.

Concepts: DNA, Gene expression, Metabolism, Adenosine triphosphate, Epigenetics, DNA methylation, Glycolysis, Mediation


BackgroundStudies have shown that a mother’s history of child maltreatment is associated with her child’s experience of internalising and externalising difficulties.AimsTo characterise the mediating pathways that underpin this association.MethodData on a mother’s history of child maltreatment, depression during pregnancy, postnatal depression, maladaptive parenting practices and her child’s experience of maltreatment and internalising and externalising difficulties were analysed in an Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) sample of 9397 mother-child dyads followed prospectively from pregnancy to age 13.ResultsMaternal history of child maltreatment was significantly associated with offspring internalising and externalising difficulties. Maternal antenatal depression, postnatal depression and offspring child maltreatment were observed to significantly mediate this association independently.ConclusionsPsychological and psychosocial interventions focused around treating maternal depression, particularly during pregnancy, and safeguarding against adverse childhood experiences could be offered to mothers with traumatic childhood histories to help protect against psychopathology in the next generation.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Longitudinal study, Parent, Sociology, Psychological trauma, Mother, Mediation


Intergroup conflicts are ubiquitous-they occur, for instance, between (work)groups, departments, organizations, political parties, or nations. Such conflicts are commonly addressed through negotiations, in which representatives negotiate on behalf of their constituency. Intergroup negotiations are complex, as representatives need to navigate between the interests of their own constituency and the other party. This implies that negotiation success requires careful processing of information about both parties' interests. Here, we examine how representative negotiators' motivation to engage in such thorough information processing is influenced by their position in the group. Whereas prototypical representatives feel secure about their membership, peripheral representatives have a less certain position. We propose that peripheral representatives are therefore more attentive and responsive to information that may be relevant to the negotiation than prototypical representatives, but only when they are accountable to their constituents. Data from 4 experiments showed that peripheral representatives reported higher information-processing motivation (Experiment 1), bought and recalled more information (Experiment 2), exhibited greater sensitivity to emotional expressions of the outgroup representative (Experiment 3), and attained more integrative (“win-win”) agreements (Experiment 4) than prototypical representatives, but only when they were accountable. The findings are discussed in relation to theorizing on group dynamics, motivated information processing, emotion, and intergroup conflict, and practical implications are considered. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2012 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Mediation, Dispute resolution, Negotiation, Win-win game, Contract


Nonresolving inflammation is a hallmark of many types of tumors and the molecular mechanisms maintaining this inflammation are still largely unknown. In a two stage carcinogenesis model, we observed here that the lack of IFNγ receptor or neutralization of IFNγ accelerated spontaneous papilloma regression in mice. The impaired maintenance of local inflammation was associated with reduced IFNγ and enhanced biosynthesis of pro-resolution lipid mediator lipoxin A4 (LXA4). Interestingly, blocking LXA4 eliminated the effect of anti-IFNγ, while treatment of mice with a therapeutic dose of LXA4 accelerated papilloma regression in an IFNγ independent manner. These results link for the first time a cytokine-dependent maintenance of inflammation with a down-regulated production of pro-resolution lipid mediators. Strategies promoting spontaneous resolution of chronic inflammation by blocking IFNγ and/or increasing LXA4 may be useful for the treatment of inflammation-associated tumors.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Therapeutic effect, Metabolism, Adenosine triphosphate, Stage, Mediation, Lipoxin