mental health

Do married and/or cohabiting individuals fare better during the COVID-19 pandemic? Satisfaction with life and depression among adult twins in the United States

Due to social distancing measures implemented to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals are spending more time isolated at home with limited physical social interactions. The current study investigated whether marriage and/or cohabitation is associated with satisfaction with life and depression among 732 adult same-sex twin pairs (monozygotic and dizygotic) in the US using online survey […]

Positive lifestyle behaviours and emotional health factors are associated with low back pain resilience

Purpose: To evaluate the relationship between lifestyle behaviours, emotional health factors, and low back pain (LBP) resilience. Methods: This retrospective longitudinal study utilised 1,065 twins with a recent history of LBP from the Washington State Twin Registry. A lifestyle behaviour score was built using variables of body mass index, physical activity engagement, sleep quality, smoking […]

The pillars of health: influence of multiple lifestyle behaviors on body mass index and depressive symptoms in adult twins

Background: Guidelines promoting healthy lifestyles are cornerstones of chronic disease prevention and treatment. The purpose of this study is to investigate independent and joint associations of five key health behaviors with health outcomes (body mass index (BMI kg/m2) and depressive symptoms) in adult twins. Methods: We included 6,048 twin pairs from a community-based registry. Five […]

Changes in physical activity levels and mental health during COVID-19: Prospective findings among adult twin pairs

Background: Physical distancing and other COVID-19 pandemic mitigation strategies have negatively impacted physical activity (PA) levels and mental health in cross-sectional studies. The purpose of this study was to investigate associations between changes in PA and mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic, following implementation of mitigation strategies, in a sample of adult twins. Methods: […]

Differences in Stress and Anxiety Among Women With and Without Children in the Household During the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns have had a disproportionate impact on parents of children under 18, particularly women. Mandatory school closures and loss of childcare resulted in parents balancing work, teaching, and childcare needs. A number of studies have examined changes in mental health of parents, but to date no studies have compared the […]

Is COVID-19 keeping us up at night? Stress, anxiety, and sleep among adult twins

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a variety of social distancing measures to mitigate the virus outbreak have been implemented. These measures may have unintended consequences on individuals’ well-being, such as increased stress, anxiety, and sleep disruptions. We investigated the extent to which individuals’ mental health status is associated with perceived changes in sleep amount […]

Fear and depression linked to COVID-19 exposure: A study of adult twins during the COVID-19 pandemic

Millions of people have been impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic worldwide. High infection rates and death tolls, combined with social distancing measures, may have unintended psychological consequences on individuals. The goal of this study was to examine the interrelations between COVID-19 exposure, fear of COVID-19, and depression among a community-based sample of adult […]

Stress, Anxiety, and Change in Alcohol Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings Among Adult Twin Pairs

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted the lives of people worldwide since being declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Social restrictions aimed at flattening the curve may be associated with an increase in stress and anxiety, which may increase the use of alcohol as a coping mechanism. The objective of this study was to […]

Central and Peripheral Symptoms in Network Analysis are Differentially Heritable A Twin Study of Anxious Misery

Background: Evidence suggests that depression and anxiety disorders are genetically based. Although symptoms of these internalizing disorders tend to correlate, the degree to which the related symptoms are heritable is unclear. This overlap has been conceptualized as Anxious Misery and existing research examining similar constructs of negative affect has revealed moderate heritability. However, it is […]

Genome-wide profiling of DNA methylome and transcriptome in peripheral blood monocytes for major depression: A Monozygotic Discordant Twin Study

DNA methylation plays an important role in major depressive disorder (MDD), but the specific genes and genomic regions associated with MDD remain largely unknown. Here we conducted genome-wide profiling of DNA methylation (Infinium MethylationEPIC BeadChip) and gene expression (RNA-seq) in peripheral blood monocytes from 79 monozygotic twin pairs (mean age 38.2 ± 15.6 years) discordant on lifetime […]

Study Design and Rationale for the Mood and Methylation Study: A Platform for Multi-Omics Investigation of Depression in Twins

Major depression is a complex disorder with no single, direct causal mechanism. Morbidity has been linked to genetic processes, developmental history, and unique environmental exposures. Epigenetic mechanisms, especially DNA methylation, are also likely important factors in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). A community-based twin sample has many advantages for epigenetic studies, given the […]

Childhood Trauma, DNA Methylation of Stress-related Genes, and Depression: Findings from Two Monozygotic Twin Studies

Objective: DNA methylation has been associated with both early life stress and depression. This study examined the combined association of DNA methylation at multiple CpG probes in five stress-related genes with depressive symptoms and tested whether these genes methylation mediated the association between childhood trauma and depression in two monozygotic (MZ) twin studies. Methods: The current analysis […]

Associations between social capital and depression: A study of adult twins

Social capital is associated with depression independently of individual-level risk factors. We used a sample of 1586 same-sex twin pairs to test the association between seven measures of social capital and two related measures of neighborhood characteristics with depressive symptoms accounting for uncontrolled selection factors (i.e., genetics and shared environment). All measures of cognitive social […]

Associations between neighbourhood characteristics and depression: a twin study

Background: Depression is an important contributor to the global burden of disease. Besides several known individual-level factors that contribute to depression, there is a growing recognition that neighbourhood environment can also profoundly affect mental health. This study assessed associations between three neighbourhood constructs-socioeconomic deprivation, residential instability and income inequality-and depression among adult twin pairs. The twin […]

Genetic and Environment Influences on Sleep, Pain, and Depression Symptoms in a Community Sample of Twins

Objective: We used quantitative genetic methods to evaluate whether sleep quality, pain, and depression symptoms share a common genetic diathesis, to estimate the genetic and environmental sources of covariance among these symptoms, and to test for possible causal relationships. Methods: A community sample of 400 twins from the University of Washington Twin Registry completed standardized self-report questionnaires. […]

Neighborhood deprivation and depression in adult twins: genetics and gene×environment interaction

Background: Depression is a significant problem and it is vital to understand its underlying causes and related policy implications. Neighborhood characteristics are implicated in depression but the nature of this association is unclear. Unobserved or unmeasured factors may confound the relationship. This study addresses confounding in a twin study investigating neighborhood-level effects on depression controlling for […]

A Twin Study on Perceived Stress, Depressive Symptoms, and Marriage

Marriage is associated with reductions in both perceived stress and depressive symptoms, two constructs found to be influenced by common genetic effects. A study of sibling twins was used to test whether marriage decreases the proportion of variance in depressive symptoms accounted for by genetic and environmental effects underlying perceived stress. The sample consisted of […]

Resilient Coping Moderates the Effect of Trauma Exposure on Depression

Posttraumatic depression rates are increasing in the United States, and there is a great need to identify malleable factors that could moderate posttraumatic depression levels. The purpose of this study was to examine whether resilient coping moderates the effects of trauma exposure on depression, while controlling for neuroticism-an established predictor of depressive symptoms. This study […]

Access to green space, physical activity and mental health: a twin study

Increasing global urbanisation has resulted in a greater proportion of the world’s population becoming exposed to risk factors unique to urban areas, and understanding these effects on public health is essential. The aim of this study was to examine the association between access to green space and mental health among adult twin pairs. We used a […]

Clinical and evoked pain, personality traits, and emotional states: Can familial confounding explain the associations?

Objectives: Pain is a complex phenomenon influenced by context and person-specific factors. Affective dimensions of pain involve both enduring personality traits and fleeting emotional states. We examined how personality traits and emotional states are linked with clinical and evoked pain in a twin sample. Methods: 99 female twin pairs were evaluated for clinical and evoked pain using […]