Concept: Nuclear family
This study examined differences in children’s psychological and social indicators in non-traditional families in Israel, focusing on fatherless families headed by lesbian mothers and single mothers by choice. Although Israel is considered an industrialized westernized country, centrality of the traditional nuclear family predominates this country.
Pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP) is a papulosquamous disorder phenotypically related to psoriasis. The disease has been occasionally shown to be inherited in an autosomal-dominant fashion. To identify the genetic cause of familial PRP, we ascertained four unrelated families affected by autosomal-dominant PRP. We initially mapped PRP to 17q25.3, a region overlapping with psoriasis susceptibility locus 2 (PSORS2 [MIM 602723]). Using a combination of linkage analysis followed by targeted whole-exome sequencing and candidate-gene screening, we identified three different heterozygous mutations in CARD14, which encodes caspase recruitment domain family, member 14. CARD14 was found to be specifically expressed in the skin. CARD14 is a known activator of nuclear factor kappa B signaling, which has been implicated in inflammatory disorders. Accordingly, CARD14 levels were increased, and p65 was found to be activated in the skin of PRP-affected individuals. The present data demonstrate that autosomal-dominant PRP is allelic to familial psoriasis, which was recently shown to also be caused by mutations in CARD14.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a highly incapacitating disease typically associated with high rates of familial dysfunction. Despite recent literature suggesting that maternal care is an important environmental factor in the development of behavioral disorders, it is unclear how much maternal care is dysfunctional in BD subjects.
-Whole exome sequencing (WES) is a powerful technique for Mendelian disease gene discovery. However, variant prioritization remains a challenge. We applied WES to identify the causal variant in a large family with familial dilated cardiomyopathy (DMC) of unknown etiology.
People living in densely populated and socially disorganized areas have higher rates of psychiatric morbidity, but the potential causal status of such factors is uncertain. We used nationwide Swedish longitudinal registry data to identify all children born 1967-1989 (n = 2361585), including separate datasets for all cousins (n = 1715059) and siblings (n = 1667894). The nature of the associations between population density and neighborhood deprivation and individual risk for a schizophrenia diagnosis was investigated while adjusting for unobserved familial risk factors (through cousin and sibling comparisons) and then compared with similar associations for depression. We generated familial pedigree structures using the Multi-Generation Registry and identified study participants with schizophrenia and depression using the National Patient Registry. Fixed-effects logistic regression models were used to study within-family estimates. Population density, measured as ln(population size/km(2)), at age 15 predicted subsequent schizophrenia in the population (OR = 1.10; 95% CI: 1.09; 1.11). Unobserved familial risk factors shared by cousins within extended families attenuated the association (1.06; 1.03; 1.10), and the link disappeared entirely within nuclear families (1.02; 0.97; 1.08). Similar results were found for neighborhood deprivation as predictor and for depression as outcome. Sensitivity tests demonstrated that timing and accumulation effects of the exposures (mean scores across birth, ages 1-5, 6-10, and 11-15 years) did not alter the findings. Excess risks of psychiatric morbidity, particularly schizophrenia, in densely populated and socioeconomically deprived Swedish neighborhoods appear, therefore, to result primarily from unobserved familial selection factors. Previous studies may have overemphasized the etiological importance of these environmental factors.
Rates of paternal depression range from 5% to 10% with a growing body of literature describing the harm to fathers, children, and families. Changes in depression symptoms over the life course, and the role of social factors, are not well known. This study examines associations with changes in depression symptoms during the transition to fatherhood for young fathers and whether this association differed by key social factors.
Fifty-one solo mother families were compared with 52 two-parent families all with a 4-9-year-old child conceived by donor insemination. Standardized interview, observational and questionnaire measures of maternal wellbeing, mother-child relationships and child adjustment were administered to mothers, children and teachers. There were no differences in parenting quality between family types apart from lower mother-child conflict in solo mother families. Neither were there differences in child adjustment. Perceived financial difficulties, child’s gender, and parenting stress were associated with children’s adjustment problems in both family types. The findings suggest that solo motherhood, in itself, does not result in psychological problems for children. (PsycINFO Database Record
Following the birth of an infant, decreases in testosterone and increases in depressive symptoms have been observed in fathers. Paternal testosterone may reflect fathers' investment in pair-bonding and paternal caregiving and, as such, may be associated with maternal and familial well-being. This study tests associations between paternal testosterone, paternal and maternal postpartum depressive symptoms, and subsequent family functioning. Within 149 couples, fathers provided testosterone samples when infants were approximately nine months old and both parents reported on postpartum depressive symptoms at two, nine, and 15months postpartum. Fathers with lower aggregate testosterone reported more depressive symptoms at two and nine months postpartum. Mothers whose partners had higher evening testosterone reported more depressive symptoms at nine and 15months postpartum. Maternal relationship satisfaction mediated this effect, such that mothers with higher testosterone partners reported more relationship dissatisfaction, which in turn predicted more maternal depressive symptoms. Higher paternal testosterone and paternal depressive symptoms at nine months postpartum each independently predicted greater fathering stress at 15months postpartum. Higher paternal testosterone also predicted more mother-reported intimate partner aggression at 15months postpartum. In addition to linear relationships between testosterone and depression, curvilinear relationships emerged such that fathers with both low and high testosterone at nine months postpartum reported more subsequent (15-month) depressive symptoms and fathering stress. In conclusion, whereas higher paternal testosterone may protect against paternal depression, it contributed to maternal distress and suboptimal family outcomes in our sample. Interventions that supplement or alter men’s testosterone may have unintended consequences for family well-being.
Findings are presented on a study of 40 gay father families created through surrogacy and a comparison group of 55 lesbian mother families created through donor insemination with a child aged 3-9 years. Standardized interview, observational and questionnaire measures of stigmatization, quality of parent-child relationships, and children’s adjustment were administered to parents, children, and teachers. Children in both family types showed high levels of adjustment with lower levels of children’s internalizing problems reported by gay fathers. Irrespective of family type, children whose parents perceived greater stigmatization and children who experienced higher levels of negative parenting showed higher levels of parent-reported externalizing problems. The findings contribute to theoretical understanding of the role of family structure and family processes in child adjustment.
The demands arising from the combination of work and family roles can generate conflicts (work-family conflicts), which have become recognized as major social determinants of mothers' and fathers' mental health. This raises the question of the potential effects on children. The current study of 2496 Australian families (7652 observations from children aged 4-5 up to 12-13 years) asks whether changes in children’s mental health corresponds with changes in mothers' and fathers' work-family conflicts. Using longitudinal random-effect structural equation models, adjusting for prior child mental health, changes in work-family conflict were examined across four adjacent pairs of biennial data waves. Children’s mental health deteriorated when their mother or father experienced an increase in work-family conflict, but improved when parents' work-family conflict reduced. Results held for mothers, fathers and couples, and the key pathways appear to be changes in children’s relational environments. These results contribute new evidence that conflicts between the work-family interface are powerful social determinants of mental health which have an intergenerational reach.