Isabella Badini

Thesis title:

The role of socio-economic adversity in the aetiology of depression: A multi-method investigation across international population-based cohorts.


Depression is a global public health problem, ranked as the leading cause of disability worldwide. Individual differences in depression are a product of complex processes that involve genetic and environmental influences. Research also suggests a role for gene-by-environment interactions, whereby genetic effects on depression are moderated by the environment. Environmental variation created by differences in socioeconomic factors experienced within and across populations may influence the contribution of genetic effects to depression. International and interdisciplinary research looking at the impact of socio-economic inequality on risk for depression is needed. Currently, the effect of socio-economic disadvantage on the heritability of depression within and across populations remains unexplored. The aim of my proposed project is to increase our understanding of the relationship between depression and measures of SES and income inequality using genetically informative, cross-national, population-based twin samples from Norway, Sweden, Sri Lanka and South Korea.The research proposed in my studentship directly addresses the Life Course, Psychology and Health thematic pathway as it aims to examine the effects of socioeconomic disparity on the heritability of depression within and across populations that differ in prosperity. This research will help inform social and health policies which seek to provide more effective social provisions and interventions for mental health.

First supervisor:

Helena Zavos


2 – Life Course, Psychology, & Health