Parental, prenatal and neonatal associations with ball skills at age 8 using an exposome approach

Jean Golding , Steve P Gregory, Yaz L Iles-Caven, R. Lingam, John M. Davis, Pauline M Emmett, Colin D Steer, Joseph R Hibbeln

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
322 Downloads (Pure)


There is little consistency in the literature concerning factors that influence motor coordination in children. A hypothesis-free “exposome” approach was used with 7359 children using longitudinal information covering 3 generations in regard to throwing a ball accurately at age 7 years. The analyses showed an independent robust negative association with mother’s unhappiness in her midchildhood (6-11 years). No such association was present for study fathers. The offspring of parents who described themselves as having poor eyesight had poorer ability. This hypothesis-free approach has identified a strong negative association with an unhappy childhood. Future studies of this cohort will be used to determine whether the mechanism is manifest through differing parenting skills, or a biological mechanism reflecting epigenetic effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1390-1398
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number10
Early online date14 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • ball skills
  • motor coordination
  • maternal environmental background
  • exposome


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