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The Association of Early Childhood Education and Care with Cognitive Learning Outcomes at 15 Years of Age in Finland  [PDF]
Aino Saarinen, Jari Lipsanen, Minna Huotilainen, Mirka Hintsanen, Liisa Keltikangas-J?rvinen
Psychology (PSYCH) , 2019, DOI: 10.4236/psych.2019.104033
Abstract: Background: We investigated whether child’s participation in early childhood education and care (ECEC) is associated with later cognitive learning outcomes at 15 years of age in Finland. Methods: The Finnish PISA 2015 data (N = 4634) was used. Learning outcomes in science, reading, mathematics, and collaborative problem-solving were evaluated with computer-based tests in 2015. Participation in ECEC and parental SES were assessed with questionnaires. Results: In any learning outcome, students who had only participated in preschool at 6 years of age did not differ from students who had started in ECEC at any other age between 1 - 5 years. Additionally, at a trend level, participation in ECEC before preschool had more beneficial effects on learning outcomes among students with high parental SES than low parental SES. Conclusions: ECEC before preschool is not associated with learning outcomes at 15 years of age in Finland. ECEC may not have compensatory effects for children coming from socioeconomically disadvantaged families in Finland. In the future, it is necessary to further investigate which factors might diminish the inequality in learning outcomes between children coming from different family background. In particular, more research is needed about the influence of both societal factors (e.g. integration of immigration families, psychosocial family environment, gender-specific factors) and child-care related factors (e.g. special education; individually tailored day care programs for high-risk children).
Childhood Disruptive Behaviour and School Performance across Comprehensive School: A Prospective Cohort Study  [PDF]
Saija Alatupa, Laura Pulkki-R?back, Mirka Hintsanen, Sari Mullola, Jari Lipsanen, Liisa Keltikangas-J?rvinen
Psychology (PSYCH) , 2011, DOI: 10.4236/psych.2011.26084
Abstract: In the present study we examined 1) whether childhood disruptive behaviour, in terms of aggressiveness, hyper-activity and social adjustment, predicts school performance since toddler age or whether becomes it relevant first since middle or late childhood, 2) whether gender differences within the associations between school perform-ance and disruptive behaviour exist, and 3) whether there are trait specific effects in these associations, i.e. whether hyperactivity is more relevant determinant for later school success than aggression and social adjust-ment. The subjects were derived from a representative, population based cohort study where 3600 subjects we followed for 27 years since their childhood. Our sample consisted of 973 participants (516 girls) who were 3, 6 and 9 years of age at baseline and were followed over their whole compulsory education, i.e. 3rd, 6th, and 9th grades. The most prominent finding was a gender specific association between disruptive behaviour and school performance: hyperactivity predicted later school performance among girls whereas aggression predicted school performance among boys. The association between social adjustment and school performance was less clear. Disruptive behaviour at toddler age (at the age of 3) was not predictable for later school performance but it started to predict school performance at later age, i.e. when it was assessed at the ages of 6 and 9, and the asso-ciations were true throughout the whole 9-year comprehensive school. Our findings suggest that early childhood disruptive behaviour has long-lasting effects. Thus, its intervention before the school entry would be of high importance.
Is There an Association between Temperament and Apolipoprotein E?
A Replication of a 1993 Young Finns Study

Aino M. Pitk?nen, P?ivi Merjonen, Liisa Keltikangas-J?rvinen, Ilkka Sepp?l?, Terho Lehtim?ki, Jorma Viikari, Olli T. Raitakari, Mirka Hintsanen
Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science (JBBS) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/jbbs.2013.32020

Background: An association between apolipoprotein E (apoE) gene polymorphism and temperament has been found in the Young Finns cohort. Motor activity in childhood and mental vitality, sociability and positive emotionality in adolescence were associated with apoE. Two research groups have attempted to replicate these findings but no associations have been found. Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to confirm the original findings with new and more reliable genotyping from a larger sample derived from the same Young Finns Study as the original finding.Methods: The study included 2808 participants aged 3 - 18 years in 1980. The same methods in assessing temperament were used as in the original study. Temperament was operationalized as motor activity, cooperativeness, negative emotionality, mental vitality, sociability and positive emotionality. Temperament was assessed by participants’ mothers in 1980 and 1983 and self-rated in 1983 by adolescent participants. Results: Motor activity was not associated with apoE polymerphisms. All other previous results were replicated. Adolescents’ positive emotionality, mental vitality and sociability were associated with apoE. Conclusions: The results indicated that there is an association between temperament and apoE. The previous absence of association between temperament and apoE in the replication studies may be due to the fact that researchers used different dimensions of temperament and thus probably studied different phenomena. Cultural differences in personality assessment might also explain the contradictory findings.

Chronic Stress and the Development of Early Atherosclerosis: Moderating Effect of Endothelial Dysfunction and Impaired Arterial Elasticity
Nadja Chumaeva,Mirka Hintsanen,Niklas Ravaja,Markus Juonala,Olli T. Raitakari,Liisa Keltikangas-J?rvinen
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , 2009, DOI: 10.3390/ijerph6122934
Abstract: This study aims to explore the interactive effect of vital exhaustion (VE) and endothelial dysfunction on preclinical atherosclerosis, assessed by carotid intima-media thickness (IMT). Furthermore, interaction between VE and carotid elasticity is examined. Participants were 1,596 young healthy adults from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study. Endothelial dysfunction was measured by brachial flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), and carotid elasticity by carotid artery compliance (CAC). Significant interactions between FMD and VE, and between CAC and VE, for IMT were found in participants with the very lowest FMD and CAC. Thus, VE may be harmful if the endothelium is not working properly.
Sex differences in the combined effect of chronic stress with impaired vascular endothelium functioning and the development of early atherosclerosis: The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study
Nadja Chumaeva, Mirka Hintsanen, Markus Juonala, Olli T Raitakari, Liisa Keltikangas-J?rvinen
BMC Cardiovascular Disorders , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2261-10-34
Abstract: The participants were 1002 women and 719 men aged 24-39 examined in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study. Vital exhaustion was measured using the Maastricht Questionnaire. Preclinical atherosclerosis was assessed by carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), endothelial function was measured by brachial flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), and arterial elasticity by carotid artery compliance (CAC) using ultrasound techniques.We found a significant CAC x VE interaction for IMT only for the men. Our results imply that high VE level significantly related to high IMT levels among the men with low CAC, but not among the women with low CAC or among the women or men with high CAC. No significant FMD x VE interactions for IMT for the women or men were found.High VE may exert an effect on IMT for men with impaired arterial elasticity. The results suggest that high vitally exhausted men with reduced arterial elasticity are at increased risk of atherosclerosis in early life and imply men's decreased stress coping in relation to stressful psychological coronary risk factors.Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the industrialized world [1]. Atherosclerosis is the pathogenic process that underlies most cardiovascular diseases, including the pathology of CHD [2]. According to the prognosis of the World Health Organization, stressful life events and chronic psychosocial stress will be the most harmful risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases in the near future [3]. Recent studies have shown that chronic life stress is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular mortality [4], and chronic psychosocial stress has been found to contribute on endothelial dysfunction [5], fostering, therefore, the progression of atherosclerosis [6].It is known that endothelial dysfunction is a marker of cardiovascular [7] and atherosclerotic [8] risk and it triggers the first step of atherosclerosis [9]. The alterations in the functioning of t
Early atherosclerosis and cardiac autonomic responses to mental stress: a population-based study of the moderating influence of impaired endothelial function
Nadja Chumaeva, Mirka Hintsanen, Taina Hintsa, Niklas Ravaja, Markus Juonala, Olli T Raitakari, Liisa Keltikangas-J?rvinen
BMC Cardiovascular Disorders , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2261-10-16
Abstract: Participants were 81 healthy young adults aged 24-39 years. Preclinical atherosclerosis was assessed by carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and endothelial function was measured as flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) using ultrasound techniques. We also measured heart rate, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and pre-ejection period (PEP) in response to the mental arithmetic and speech tasks.We found a significant interaction of FMD and cardiac RSA recovery for IMT (p = 0.037), and a significant interaction of FMD and PEP recovery for IMT (p = 0.006). Among participants with low FMD, slower PEP recovery was related to higher IMT. Among individuals with high FMD, slow RSA recovery predicted higher IMT. No significant interactions of FMD and cardiac reactivity for IMT were found.Cardiac recovery plays a role in atherosclerosis development in persons with high and low FMD. The role of sympathetically mediated cardiac activity seems to be more important in those with impaired FMD, and parasympathetically mediated in those with relatively high FMD. The development of endothelial dysfunction may be one possible mechanism linking slow cardiac recovery and atherosclerosis via autonomic nervous system mediated effect.Mental stress has been shown to be a risk factor for atherosclerosis [1]. Acute mental stress may induce myocardial infarction [2] or sudden cardiac death [3]. It has been found to impair the parameters of endothelial health, reducing flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) [4,5]. Brachial FMD is an adequate non-invasive measure of endothelial function [6] and reduced brachial FMD reflects endothelial dysfunction [6,7]. Endothelial dysfunction is a marker of cardiovascular risk [6,7] and may be considered as an indicator of atherosclerotic events in later stages in life [8]. Brachial FMD as well as carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) are important non-invasive markers of subclinical atherosclerosis [7,9]. Increased carotid IMT correlates with coronary atherosclerosis [10] a
Moderation of Breastfeeding Effects on Adult Depression by Estrogen Receptor Gene Polymorphism
P?ivi Merjonen,Markus Jokela,Johanna Salo,Terho Lehtim?ki,Jorma Viikari,Olli T. Raitakari,Mirka Hintsanen,Liisa Keltikangas-J?rvinen
Child Development Research , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/290862
Abstract: Breastfeeding is known to benefit both the mother’s and the child’s health. Our aim was to test the interactive effects between estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) rs2234693 and breastfeeding when predicting the child’s later depression in adulthood. A sample of 1209 boys and girls from the Young Finns Study were followed from childhood over 27 years up to age 30–45 years. Adulthood depressive symptoms were self-reported by the participants using the Beck Depression Inventory. Breastfeeding as well as several possibly confounding factors was reported by the parents in childhood or adolescence. Breastfeeding tended to predict lower adult depression, while ESR1 rs2234693 was not associated with depression. A significant interaction between breastfeeding and ESR1 was found to predict participants’ depression ( ) so that C/C genotype carriers who had not been breastfed had higher risk of depression than T-allele carriers (40.5% versus 13.0%) while there were no genotypic differences among those who had been breastfed. In sex-specific analysis, this interaction was evident only among women. We conclude that child’s genes and maternal behavior may interact in the development of child’s adult depression so that breastfeeding may buffer the inherited depression risk possibly associated with the C/C genotype of the ESR1 gene. 1. Introduction Depression is a major mental health problem in western countries, affecting working-age young adults in particular [1]. The etiology of depression is complex and involves genetic, neurobiological, psychological, and social factors. Furthermore, recent research has demonstrated that adult vulnerability to depression may have its origins already in early childhood [2], which emphasizes the value of life-course studies of depression. A large research literature has investigated the potential role of maternal behavior in the development of children’s mental and behavioral problems. In particular, breastfeeding has been shown to have beneficial effects for children’s physical health and cognitive development [3–5]. Emerging evidence suggests that breastfeeding might also have favorable effects on children’s mental health. In a study on 5-year-olds, breastfeeding duration was associated with lower prevalence of children’s mental health problems [6]. Other studies demonstrated that children who had not been breastfed in infancy had a higher risk for clinical depression in early adulthood [7] and hostility in adulthood [8]. However, genetic background may determine, in part, the sensitivity and responsiveness of individuals to environmental
Does neuregulin-1 play a role in Type A behavior? The cardiovascular risk in young Finns study
Helena M Service, Mirka Hintsanen, Taina Hintsa, Terho Lehtim?ki, Olli T Raitakari, Jorma S Viikari, Liisa Keltikangas-J?rvinen
Behavioral and Brain Functions , 2008, DOI: 10.1186/1744-9081-4-40
Abstract: The study examined whether Type A behavior pattern is associated with the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) SNP8NRG221533 of the NRG1. The subjects were 631 men and women participating in the population-based Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study in 1992 and 2001. Type A was self-assessed with the Framingham Type A Scale and reassessed nine years later.Type A was associated with NRG1 genotype. Carriers of genotype CC scored lower on Type A compared to the others.Our study has pinpointed a SNP in NRG1 that predicts Type A behavior. As previous evidence suggests an association for NRG1 with beta-adrenergic stimulation, its role underlying Type A is discussed.Type A behavior, originally described as a behavioral pattern comprising impatience, hard driving and a sense of hurry [1], was considered in the 60s and 70s as a major behavioral risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). It was believed to have a similar effect on cardiovascular risk as the more traditional risk factors, such as elevated systolic blood pressure, serum cholesterol, and smoking [2].In the 1980's, however, most studies failed to confirm an association between Type A behavior and CHD [3]. In 1999, the review by Hemingway and Marmot [4] concluded that a contribution of Type A behavior in pathogenesis of CHD has not been scholarly proved, while in 2000's, new evidence on an association between Type A and atherosclerosis has been, again, elicited [5].Vagueness of the Type A concept may at least partly, explain these conflicting findings. There is a disagreement whether Type A mainly refers to emotions, attitudes, behavioral styles, or innate dispositions, and what is the contribution of those dimensions to the final concept. If Type A behavior, or any dimension of it, could be anchored to genetic background, this might establish its content. More important, identifying functional genes related to Type A behavior might increase our knowledge about mechanisms through which Type A could be associ
Pairwise Measures of Causal Direction in the Epidemiology of Sleep Problems and Depression
Tom Rosenstr?m, Markus Jokela, Sampsa Puttonen, Mirka Hintsanen, Laura Pulkki-R?back, Jorma S. Viikari, Olli T. Raitakari, Liisa Keltikangas-J?rvinen
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050841
Abstract: Depressive mood is often preceded by sleep problems, suggesting that they increase the risk of depression. Sleep problems can also reflect prodromal symptom of depression, thus temporal precedence alone is insufficient to confirm causality. The authors applied recently introduced statistical causal-discovery algorithms that can estimate causality from cross-sectional samples in order to infer the direction of causality between the two sets of symptoms from a novel perspective. Two common-population samples were used; one from the Young Finns study (690 men and 997 women, average age 37.7 years, range 30–45), and another from the Wisconsin Longitudinal study (3101 men and 3539 women, average age 53.1 years, range 52–55). These included three depression questionnaires (two in Young Finns data) and two sleep problem questionnaires. Three different causality estimates were constructed for each data set, tested in a benchmark data with a (practically) known causality, and tested for assumption violations using simulated data. Causality algorithms performed well in the benchmark data and simulations, and a prediction was drawn for future empirical studies to confirm: for minor depression/dysphoria, sleep problems cause significantly more dysphoria than dysphoria causes sleep problems. The situation may change as depression becomes more severe, or more severe levels of symptoms are evaluated; also, artefacts due to severe depression being less well presented in the population data than minor depression may intervene the estimation for depression scales that emphasize severe symptoms. The findings are consistent with other emerging epidemiological and biological evidence.
Shale or slate?
Mirka Trajanova
Geologija , 1998,
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