Environment, Development,

 Genetics & Epigenetics

 in Psychology and Psychiatry Lab 


At EDGE Lab, we investigate environmental, developmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors, and their interplay, in psychology and psychiatry. Specifically, our research focuses on vulnerability and resilience pathways and mechanisms for affective psychopathology, such as depression and anxiety. Moreover, we explore the link between affective disorders and physical and cognitive health and ageing. Our research is truly interdisciplinary; we use prospective longitudinal, cross-cultural, and genetically informative approaches to get insights into determinants and consequences of affective psychopathology across the life course, generations and cultures. 

Research Themes


Our latest research on modelling latent genetic variables for longitudinal studies of complex psychological traits: the product of collaboration between geneticists and social researchers 

Xu, M.K., Gaysina, D., Tsonaka, R,  Morin, A., Croudace, T.J., Barnett, J., Duistermaat, J., Richards, M., & Jones, P. Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene and personality traits from late adolescence through early adulthood: a latent variable investigation. Frontiers in Psychology, 2017, In press: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01736. [pdf]

Our new publications on long-term effects of early adversities on mental health

Sands, A., Thompson, E. J., & Gaysina, D. Long-term influences of parental divorce on offspring affective disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 2017, 218:105-114. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2017.04.015. [pdfinewspaper

*This study is featured in our opinion article 'Are your parents to blame for your psychological problems?' (Darya Gaysina & Ellen J Thompson) published in the Conversation.

** Republished by i Newspaper: 'Don't blame the parents'


Secinti, E., Thompson, E. J., Richards, M., & Gaysina, D. (2017). Research Review: Childhood chronic physical illness and adult emotional health–a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2017, Published online, doi:10.1111/jcpp.12727. [pdf] [infographics]

*You can also read about this study in the Sussex Blog and the Surg Blog.

**The study has received worldwide media coverage.


OblozhkaOur Russian book companion for 'Behavioural Genetics for Education' (Eds: Kovas, Malykh, Gaysina) is now published (in Russian)

Malykh, S.B., Kovas, Y., Gaysina, D.A. (Eds) (2016). Behavioural Genomics: Child Development And Education. Publishing House of Tomsk State University, Tomsk. 442 pages. ISBN 978-5-94621-585-5 [pdf]


RT @McManusSally: Increase in psychological distress 2012-2016 greatest in young - #healthsurveyforengland report out today @NatCentwitter.com/i/web/status/9…

RT @BalouchSara: Excited to announce that I’m organising an Early Career Researcher Dementia Symposium @SussexUni ! Save the date: 2… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

RT @abrookmanbyrne: Latest #npjscilearn post - "Do our genes determine learning ability?" #edneuro npjscilearncommunity.nature.com/channels/374-f…

@melb4886 @BrendanTHalpin In an individual, any gene (or more specific - polymorphim in a gene) has 2 alleles - one… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

RT @TheEconomist: Parents now spend twice as much time with their children as 50 years ago econ.st/2BUApjr

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