PATHWAYS - Biosocial Influences on Health

Principal Investigator: Professor Emily Grundy


PATHWAYS node aimed to identify pathways that link socio-demographic circumstances and biological disadvantage to adult health, and parental family and socio-economic circumstances to infant mortality, with a particular emphasis on the mediating factors that lie on these pathways.

The substantive and methodological research strands aimed to enhance the ability of the social science community to investigate specific hypotheses and therefore design public health interventions, and also to promote methodological exchange between the social and biomedical research communities.

Listen to George Ploubidis talk about biosocial pathways to health in NCRM podcast series.


Research projects

Pathways to and from particular fertility histories and their implications for later life health: To what extent does stress, social support and health related behaviour mediate the effect of fertility history and childhood circumstances on later life health? In this project PATHWAYS researchers used retrospective and prospective data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) to analyse associations between the family life course, particularly fertility history, and health at later ages.

Pathways to and from marital status trajectories and health in mid life: To what extent does marital history mediate the association between childhood and early life circumstances and health in mid life? The aim of this project was to investigate whether prior marital status, and time in current marital status, are associated with subsequent health in a large nationally representative birth cohort, the National Child Development Study.

Social disadvantage and infant mortality: Effect modification by birthweight or selection bias? In this project the PATHWAYS researchers examined the “low birthweight paradox” using data from a large record linkage study, the ONS Longitudinal Study.

Use of genes as instrumental variables in causal analysis: Is alcohol use causally related to fibrinogen levels? In this project the PATHWAYS researchers evaluated the Mendelian randomization approach to instrumental variable modelling using data from several sources, in order to test whether alcohol use has a causal association with fibrinogen levels.

Do income and weath mediate associations between fertility histories and later life health? was a collaborative project with PEPA.

E-books for causal modelling and missing data methods was a collaborative project with LEMMA 3.



PATHWAYS publications are available in NCRM EPrints archive.



For further information about PATHWAYS work please see the PATHWAYS website.