The Relationship Between Advanced Paternal Age and ClinicalIndicators Among Individuals at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis

by Arthur Thomas Ryan

Institution: Emory University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Psychology, Clinical; Schizophrenia; Psychosis; Advanced paternal age; Prodrome; Clinical High Risk
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2135400
Full text PDF: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/rg6mt


Since the middle of the twentieth century, researchers have demonstrated that children born to fathers of advanced age are at increased risk for a variety of health conditions, including psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Modern research has shown that this effect may be due to accumulating de novo mutations in the germ line sperm cells of older men. During the last twenty years, researchers have begun to investigate the pre-morbid period before the development of psychotic illnesses. Much of this research has focused on individuals determined to be at increased risk of developing a psychotic illness on the basis of clinical signs and symptoms, i.e., at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis. This dissertation seeks to combine these two lines of research. The relationship between paternal and maternal age with attenuated positive symptoms, negative symptoms, social functioning, and family history of psychotic illness was examined within a sample of CHR individuals. No significant relationship between paternal age and these variables was found. Maternal age was shown to have a mixed relationship with positive symptoms, in that increased maternal age predicted the presence of attenuated positive symptoms, but was inversely correlated with their severity. The null results for paternal age are interpreted in the context of the established findings linking paternal age and offspring risk for schizophrenia. Ideas for future studies to further elucidate the relationship between parental ages and psychotic illnesses are discussed. Table of Contents  – Background Literature Review 1  – The Clinical High Risk Syndrome for Psychotic Illness 1  – Advanced Paternal Age and Offspring Outcomes 4  – Underpinnings of Link Between Father's Age and Offspring Outcomes 9  – Background Summary and Hypotheses 22  – Method 23  – Participants 23  – Symptom and Functioning Measures. 23  – Familial Measures. 25  – Procedures 27  – Analyses and Results 28  – Hypothesis One Analysis Plan 28  – Hypothesis One Results 34  – Hypothesis One Summary and Conclusions 39  – Hypothesis Two Analysis Plan 41  – Hypothesis Two Results 45  – Hypothesis Two Summary and Conclusions 46  – Hypothesis Three Analysis Plan 46  – Hypothesis Three Results 47  – Hypothesis Three Summary and Conclusions 48  – Hypothesis Four Analysis Plan 48  – Hypothesis Four Results 51  – Hypothesis Four Summary and Conclusions 53  – Further Supplemental Analyses 53  – Discussion 58  – Findings Related to Participant's Age and Mother's Age 59  – Findings Related to Father's Age 63  – Limitations and Future Directions 67  – Conclusion 69  – References 70  – Table 1 Key Psychosis Related Terms 85  – Table 2 Parent's Education Rating Values 87  – Table 3 Characteristics of CHR Individuals by Positive Symptom Score 88  – Table 4 Hypothesis One Summary of Correlation Coefficients Between Independent Variables / Covariates and Positive Symptom Score 89  – Table 5 Hypothesis One Pair-wise Vuong Closeness Tests Comparing Regression Models 90  – Table 6 Hypothesis One Zero Inflated… Advisors/Committee Members: Brennan, Patricia (Committee Member), Craighead, W Edward (Committee Member), Lilienfeld, Scott O (Committee Member), Wallen, Kim (Committee Member), Walker, Elaine (Thesis Advisor).