University of Cambridge > > Cambridge Neuroscience Interdisciplinary Seminars > Unpacking Nature from Nurture: Understanding how Family Processes Affect Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Unpacking Nature from Nurture: Understanding how Family Processes Affect Child and Adolescent Mental Health

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Dervila Glynn.

Theme: Lifelong Brain Development

Mental Health problems among youth constitutes an area of significant social, educational, clinical, policy and public health concern. Understanding processes and mechanisms that underlie the development of mental health problems during childhood and adolescence requires theoretical and methodological integration across multiple scientific domains, including developmental science, neuroscience, genetics, education and prevention science. The primary focus of this presentation is to examine the relative role of genetic and family environmental influences on children’s emotional and behavioural development. Specifically, a complementary array of genetically sensitive and longitudinal research designs will be employed to examine the role of early environmental adversity (e.g. inter-parental conflict, negative parenting practices) relative to inherited factors in accounting for individual differences in children’s symptoms of psychopathology (e.g. depression, aggression, ADHD ). Examples of recent applications of this research to the development of evidence-based intervention programmes aimed at reducing psychopathology in the context of high-risk family settings will also be presented.

Gordon is the inaugural Professor of the Psychology of Education and Mental Health at the University of Cambridge, having previously held appointments as the Andrew and Virginia Rudd Chair and Professor of Psychology at the University of Sussex, the Alexander McMillan Chair and Professor of Childhood Studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand, and Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at Cardiff University. His primary research interests focus on (1) examining the interplay between family relationship dynamics and child-adolescent mental health and development, (2) understanding the interplay between genetic factors, pre-natal, post-natal environmental factors and mental health outcomes, and (3) promoting the development and implementation of evidence-based practice and policy guidelines aimed at enhancing mental health outcomes for young people. Gordon is a member of UKRI -ESRC’s Strategic Advisory Network (SAN), a member of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Methods Advisory Group (MAG), and an advisor to multiple UK and international government departments and scientific committees.

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This talk is part of the Cambridge Neuroscience Interdisciplinary Seminars series.

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