Comparing socio-demographic, psychological and health characteristics across families using natural conception vs. IVF conception: evidence from the Russian genetically informative pregnancy cohort
Part of symposium: “Interdisciplinary Investigations of Early Child Development”
Chairs: Yulia Kovas and Elena Grigorenko
Irina Voronina1,2*, Elaine White4, Anastasia Karetina1, Inna Feklicheva3, Sergey Malykh1,2, Gordon T. Harold1,5, Michel Boivin1,6 , & Yulia Kovas1,4
1 Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia
2 Psychological Institute of Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia
3 South Ural State University, Chelyabinsk, Russia
4 Goldsmiths College, University of London, London, UK
5 University of Sussex, Sussex, UK
6 GRIP, École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec city, QC, Canada
Early childhood experience has long-term effects on individual trajectories and outcomes, including a child's learning ability, academic achievement and the overall quality of life (e.g., Boivin, & Bierman, 2013). Therefore, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms of early child development to improve the lives of the future generation.
The purpose of the Russian genetically informative pregnancy cohort is to support research into genetic and pre- and postnatal environmental effects on child health and mental development. Data on biological (DNA, trace elements), socio-emotional and physical characteristics of parents and children are collected prospectively starting from pregnancy. The project combines the traditional longitudinal method with a novel design based on families in which children were conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Children conceived by homologous IVF, egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation and surrogacy differ in the extent to which they share genes with their parents. By employing an IVF design it is possible to disentangle not only the relative effects of genetic and environmental factors on development, but to parse the environment into prenatal and postnatal components.
In this talk we present the preliminary analysis of the first 200 families with naturally conceived and IVF pregnancies at Time 1 (12-13 week of pregnancy) and Time 2 (33-34 week of pregnancy). We investigated potential differences between IVF and non-IVF parents on a number of characteristics, including demographics and risk factors such as state of health, smoking and alcohol consumption, and psychological characteristics. These will be taken into account in the future analysis of prenatal predictors of child development.
Abstract submitted from the Laboratory for Cognitive Investigations and Behavioural Genetics, International Centre for Research in Human Development, Tomsk State University.