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Departmental Seminar: "Mental health outcomes and predictors of bullying victimization: what can we learn from genetically informed designs?", Dr Jean Baptiste Pigault

Location: H1.48 Humanities Annex

Host: Professor Dieter Wolke

Title: "Mental health outcomes and predictors of bullying victimization: what can we learn from genetically informed designs?"


Extensive research on bullying victimization has shown its widespread and long-lasting associations with adverse outcomes, including mental health difficulties. Less research has been conducted using genetically informed designs, which can help us to strengthen causal inference (Pingault et al., 2018, Nature Reviews Genetics). Here I will be presenting findings from a programme of research aiming to capitalize on such designs to better understand risk factors and outcomes of bullying victimization. In particular, I will be presenting results from twin studies of bullying and cyberbullying victimization as well as polygenic score studies. I will then discuss possible theoretical implications regarding prevention strategies in the field.


Dr. Pingault aims to delineate causal pathways from early risk factors to mental health difficulties in childhood and adolescence. To this end, he studies the influences of genetic and environmental risk factors on the development of a variety of mental health difficulties. His team adopts an interdisciplinary approach building on several disciplines including developmental psychopathology, epidemiological psychiatry and biology. In particular, they implement innovative methods for causal inference in big datasets, building on statistical innovation and genetically informed designs. In collaboration with national and international colleagues, Dr. Pingault and his team then seek to further characterize these causal pathways by investigating possible underlying biological mechanisms (e.g. cognitive profiles, epigenetics).


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