Pace of aging, family environment and cognitive skills in children and adolescents

Gianmaria Niccodemi, Giorgia Menta, Jonathan Turner, Conchita D’Ambrosio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pace of aging is an epigenetic clock which captures the speed at which someone is biologically aging compared to the chronological-age peers. We here use data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) to investigate the interrelation between the study children's parental social class at birth, and their pace of aging and cognitive skills measures in childhood and adolescence. We show that children from lower parental social classes display faster pace of aging and that the social class gradient in pace of aging is strongest in adolescence. About one third of this association can be explained by other socio-economic and demographic covariates, as well as life events. Similarly, study children's pace of aging manifests a negative association with their measures of cognitive skills in late adolescence only. This association becomes stronger as the contemporary pace of aging of the mother becomes faster. Our results seem to identify adolescence as the period of life when pace of aging, family environment and cognitive skills measures begin to interact.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101280
JournalSSM - Population Health
Early online date5 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Age acceleration
  • Epigenetic age
  • DNA methylation
  • Pace of aging
  • Social class
  • Social environment

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