Interview on Kinship and Household
As parents transmit their genes to their children and also provide the rearing environment, the family profoundly shapes the development and behaviour of a growing child. In the European I.Family study, we aimed to quantify the degree of familial resemblance in anthropometric measures and indices of obesity, cardio-metabolic risk factors, diet quality, taste preference and indicators of sleep using a pedigree file. Familial resemblance can arise from shared genes and shared environments and in the case of spousal correlations, assortative mating or social homogamy. This chapter explains the instrument used in I.Family to assess household composition and size and to identify biological and non-biological relationships in the household. We describe the design of the kinship interview and the challenges encountered in its implementation.
The development of instruments, the baseline data collection and the first follow-up work as part of the IDEFICS study (www.idefics.eu) were financially supported by the European Commission within the Sixth RTD Framework Programme Contract No. 016181 (FOOD). The most recent follow-up including the development of new instruments and the adaptation of previously used instruments was conducted in the framework of the I.Family study (www.ifamilystudy.eu) which was funded by the European Commission within the Seventh RTD Framework Programme Contract No. 266044 (KBBE 2010–14).
We thank all families for participating in the extensive examinations of the IDEFICS and I.Family studies. We are also grateful for the support from school boards, headmasters and communities. We greatly appreciate the input provided by Marcus Zaja, Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology—BIPS, Bremen, Germany.
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