Wirral Child Health and Development Study: First Steps

What have we discovered so far?

A list of the scientific papers from the First Steps Study focusing on early infancy, which have been published so far are listed below. Please click on the links to download them. All papers are open access.

von Stumm, S., Cave, S.N. & Wakeling, P. (2022). Persistent association between family socioeconomic status and primary school performance in Britain over 95 years. npj Science of Learning. 7, 4 Read


Braithwaite, L., Sharp, H., Pickles, A., & Wright, N. (2022). Breast may not always be best: Moderation of effects of postnatal depression by breastfeeding and infant sex. Biology of Sex Differences. Read


Wright, N., Pickles, A., Sharp, H., & Hill, J. (2021). A psychometric and validity study of callous-unemotional traits in 2.5 year old children. Scientific reports, 11(1), 1-10. Read


Slade, P., Sheen, K., Weeks, A., De Pascalis, L., Lunt, K., Bedwell, C., Thompson, B., Hill, J. and Sharp, H., (2021). Do stress and anxiety in early pregnancy affect the progress of labour: evidence from the Wirral Child Health and Development Study (WCHADS). Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. Read


N. Wright, J. Hill, H. Sharp, A. Pickles (2021). Interplay between long-term vulnerability and new risk: Young adolescent and maternal mental health immediately before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. JCPP advances. 1(1), pp.e12008-e12008. Read


N. Wright, J. Hill, H. Sharp, A. Pickles (2021). Commentary response: Addressing the scientific as well as the social‐inequalities questions ‐ Response to the commentary of Newlove‐Delgado (2021). JCPP Advances. 1(1). Read


Obando, D., Hill, J., Sharp, H., Pickles, A., Fisher, L., & Wright, N. (2020). Synergy between callous-unemotional traits and aggression in preschool children: cross-informant and cross-cultural replication in the UK Wirral Child Health and Development Study, and the Colombian La Sabana Parent-Child Study. Development & Psychopathology. Read


Bedford, R., Carter Leno, V., Wright, N., Bluett-Duncan, M., Smith, T. J., Anzures, G., Pickles, A., Sharp, H., & Hill, J. (2020). Emotion Recognition Performance in Children with Callous Unemotional Traits is Modulated by Co-occurring Autistic Traits. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Read


Braithwaite, L., Pickles, A., Wright, N., Sharp, H., & Hill, J. (2020) Sex-differences in foetal origins of child emotional symptoms: a test of evolutionary hypotheses in a large, general population cohort. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Early View. Read


Hill, J., Pickles, A., Wright, N., Braithwaite, E, & Sharp, H. (2019). Predictions of children’s emotionality from evolutionary and epigenetic hypotheses. Scientific Reports, 9, 2519Read.


 Hill, J., Pickles, A., Wright, N., Quinn, P., Murgatroyd, C., & Sharp, H. (2019) Mismatched Prenatal and Postnatal Maternal Depressive Symptoms and Child Behaviours: A Sex-Dependent Role for NR3C1 DNA Methylation in the Wirral Child Health and Development Study. Cells, 8(9), 943. Read


Rutherford, C., Sharp, H., Hill, J., Pickles, A., & Taylor-Robinson, D. (2019). How does perinatal maternal mental health explain early social inequalities in child behavioural and emotional problems? Findings from the Wirral Child Health and Development Study. PLoS ONE 14(5): e0217342. Read


Wright, N. J., Pickles, A. Braithwaite, L., Sharp, H., & Hill, J. (2019). Sex-dependant associations between maternal prenatal cortisol and child callous-unemotional traits: Findings from the Wirral Child Health and Development Study. Psychoendoneurocrinology, 109, 104409. Read


Wright, N., Hill, J., Pickles, A., & Sharp, H. (2019). Callous unemotional traits, low cortisol reactivity and physical aggression in children: findings from the Wirral Child Health and Development Study. Translational Psychiatry, 9(1), 79. Read


 de Sousa, P., Sellwood, W., Fien, K., Sharp, H., Pickles, A., Hill, J., Abbott, K., Fisher, L. & Bentall, R. (2018). Mapping early environment using communication deviance: A longitudinal study of maternal sensitivity toward 6-month-old children. Development and Psychopathology. Read


Manca, M., Pessoa, V., Myers, P., Pickles, A., Hill, J., Sharp, H., Quinn, J. P. (2018). Distinct chromatin structures at the monoamine oxidase-A promoter correlate with allele-specific expression in SH-SY5Y cells.. Genes, brain, and behavior, e12483. doi:10.1111/gbb.12483. Read


Braithwaite, E. C., Hill, J., Pickles, A., Glover, V., O’Donnell, K., & Sharp, H. (2018). Associations between maternal prenatal cortisol and fetal growth are specific to infant sex: Findings from the Wirral Child Health and Development Study. Journal of developmental origins of health and disease, 9(4), 425-431. doi: 10.1017/S2040174418000181. Read


Manca, M., Pessoa, V., Illera Lopez, A., Harrison, PT., Miyajima, F., Sharp, H., Pickles, A., Hill, J., Murgatroyd, C., Bubb, VJ., Quinn, J. (2018) The regulation of Monoamine Oxidase A gene expression by distinct Variable Number Tandem Repeats. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience 64:459–470. DOI: 10.1007/s12031-018-1044-z. Read / Read News Article


Huntley, F., Wright, N., Pickles, A., Sharp, H., & Hill, J. (2017) Maternal mental health and child problem behaviours: disentangling the role of depression and borderline personality dysfunction. British Journal of Psychiatry Open, 3(6), 300-305. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.117.005843. Read


Wright, N., Hill, J., Sharp, H., & Pickles, A. (2018) Maternal sensitivity to distress, attachment and the development of callous-unemotional traits in young children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 59(7):790-800. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12867 Read


Vidal-Ribas P, Pickles A, Tibu F, Sharp H and Hill J (2017) Sex differences in the associations between vagal reactivity and oppositional defiant disorder symptoms. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 58(9):988-997. Doi:10.1111/jcpp.12750. Read


Braithwaite, E.C., Pickles, A., Sharp, H., Glover, V., O'Donnell, J., Tibu, F., & Hill, J. (2017) Maternal prenatal cortisol predicts infant negative emotionality in a sex-dependent manner. Physiology and Behaviour 175:31-36. DOI:10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.03.017. Read


Pickles, A., Sharp, H., Hellier, J., & Hill, J. (2017) Prenatal anxiety, maternal stroking in infancy, and symptoms of emotional and behavioral disorders at 3.5 years. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 26:325-334. DOI: 10.1007/s00787-016-0886-6. Read.


Wright, N., Hill, J., Pickles, A., & Sharp, H. (2015) The Specific Role of Relationship Life Events in the Onset of Depression during Pregnancy and the Postpartum. PLoS One 10(12):e0144131. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0144131. Read


Koukounari, A., Pickles, A., Hill, J., & Sharp, H. (2015) Psychometric Properties of the Parent-Infant Caregiving Touch Scale. Frontiers in Psychology 6:1887. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01887. Read


Murgatroyd, C., Quinn, J. P., Sharp, H. M., Pickles, A., & Hill, J. (2015). Effects of prenatal and postnatal depression, and maternal stroking, at the glucocorticoid receptor gene. Translational psychiatry, 5(5), e560. Read.


Sharp, H., Hill, J., Hellier, J., & Pickles, A. (2015) Maternal antenatal anxiety, postnatal stroking and emotional problems in children: outcomes predicted from pre- and postnatal programming hypotheses. Psychological Medicine 45(2):269-283, DOI: 10.1017/S0033291714001342.  Read.


Tibu, F., Sharp, H., Marshall, K., Glover, V., & Pickles, A. (2014) Evidence for sex differences in fetal programming of physiological stress reactivity in infancy. Development and Psychopathology 26(4):879-888. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579414000194. Read.


Bedford, R., Pickles, A., Sharp, H., Wright, N., & Hill, J. (2014) Reduced face preference in infancy: a developmental precursor to callous-unemotional traits? Biological Psychiatry 78(2):144–150. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.09.022. Read.


Hill, J., Breen, G., Quinn, J., Tibu, F., Sharp, H., & Pickles, A. (2013) Evidence for interplay between genes and maternal stress in utero: Monoamine Oxidase A polymorphism moderates effects of life events during pregnancy on infant negative emotionality at 5 weeks. Genes, Brain and Behaviour 12(4):388-396. DOI:10.1111/gbb.12033. Read.


Pickles, A., Hill, J., Breen, G., Quinn, J., Marshall, K., Jones, H., & Sharp, H. (2013) Evidence for interplay between genes and parenting on infant emotion regulation in the first year of life: Monoamine Oxidase A polymorphism moderates effects of maternal sensitivity on infant anger proneness. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 54(12):1308-1317. DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12081. Read.


Glover, V., & Hill, J. (2012). Sex differences in the programming effects of prenatal stress on psychopathology and stress responses: an evolutionary perspective. Physiology & behavior, 106(5), 736-740. Read.


Sharp, H., Pickles, A., Meaney, M., Marshall, K., Tibu, F., & Hill, J. (2012) Frequency of Infant Stroking Reported by Mothers Moderates the Effect of Prenatal Depression on Infant Behavioural and Physiological Outcomes. PLoS ONE 7(10):e45446. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0045446. Read.

List of pre-published papers at various stages of the review process

 

Currently there are no papers.