Mary Agyapong

Thesis title:

Investigating Biological, Psychological and Social factors of early symptom emergence in ASD and ADHD: A longitudinal ‘high-risk’ study


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a moderate-to-highly heritable disorder (Messinger et al., 2015; Szatmari et al., 2016). ASD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have also been found to have high rates of co-occurrence (Russell, Rodgers, Ukoumunne & Ford, 2014). There is research which highlights shared risk factors concerning genetic (Smoller, 2013) and environmental (Ronald, Pennell & Whitehouse, 2011) risks for the disorders, and possible mechanisms of resilience common to those at ‘high-risk’ for ASD and ADHD (Johnson, 2012).Mary’s project proposes to utilise the high-risk longitudinal design within the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings, Studying Autism and ADHD Risks (BASIS STAARS) to investigate the emergence of early symptoms and development of ASD and ADHD. By adopting a multi-disciplinary approach, her research will aim to investigate the biological, psychological and social factors underlying causal mechanisms of ASD and ADHD.

First supervisor:

Tony Charman


2 – Life Course, Psychology, & Health