Skip to content

Association of Genetic Risk for Schizophrenia With Nonparticipation Over Time in a Population-Based Cohort Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1158
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number12
Early online date10 May 2016
DateAccepted/In press - 8 Jan 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 10 May 2016
DatePublished (current) - 15 Jun 2016


Progress has recently been made in understanding the genetic basis of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Longitudinal studies are complicated by participant dropout, which could be related to the presence of psychiatric problems and associated genetic risk. We tested whether common genetic variants implicated in schizophrenia were associated with study nonparticipation among 7,867 children and 7,850 mothers from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; 1991–2007), a longitudinal population cohort study. Higher polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia were consistently associated with noncompletion of questionnaires by study mothers and children and nonattendance at data collection throughout childhood and adolescence (ages 1–15 years). These associations persisted after adjustment for other potential correlates of nonparticipation. Results suggest that persons at higher genetic risk for schizophrenia are likely to be underrepresented in cohort studies, which will underestimate risk of this and related psychiatric, cognitive, and behavioral phenotypes in the population. Statistical power to detect associations with these phenotypes will be reduced, while analyses of schizophrenia-related phenotypes as outcomes may be biased by the nonrandom missingness of these phenotypes, even if multiple imputation is used. Similarly, in complete-case analyses, collider bias may affect associations between genetic risk and other factors associated with missingness.

    Research areas

  • Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children attrition bias cohort studies genetic risk longitudinal studies schizophrenia study nonparticipation, attrition bias, cohort studies, genetic risk, longitudinal studies, schizophrenia, study nonparticipation

Download statistics

No data available



  • Full-text PDF (final published version)

    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Oxford University Press at

    Final published version, 400 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups