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The Balanced Mind Parent Network Expert Chat with Dr. James Hudziak

Nanci - The Balanced Mind Parent Network
Dr. Hudziak, thank you for taking time to meet with us.

Dr. James Hudziak 
It is nice to be here. Although, today in Vermont it is sunny, 65 degrees....

Nanci-The Balanced Mind Parent Network
Would you like to start out by telling our members a bit about your research on the impact of genetics and environmental factors?

Dr. James Hudziak 
Our work is aimed at understanding how genetic factors and environmental factors interact on why some children might be sad, anxious, aggressive. By the study of entire families, twin pairs, and siblings we get hints about how certain illnesses travel in families. By the study of environmental mediators and moderators we hope to determine how some of this suffering can be ameliorated. That is our research dream.

Nanci - The Balanced Mind Parent Network 
Can you share any results of your studies or is it too soon to draw conclusions?

Dr. James Hudziak
The APPI recently published a book on this topic that I edited calledDevelopmental Psychopathology and Wellness: Genetic and Environmental Influences. This book introduces much of that work. Its main point in some ways is that the child psychiatric illnesses are influenced in equal parts by genetic and environmental factors. Thus in some ways, our motto is: Genes make the Environment Matter! In the final chapter of that book I elaborate our family-based approach, which aims to support the entire family through careful assessment and then through the use of health promotion, prevention, and intervention approaches help the entire family.

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Dr. James Hudziak on The Balanced Mind Parent Network's Flipswitch: the Bipolar and Depression Connection

Dr. James Hudziak
Flipswitch
is a fast-paced, fact-filled weekly podcast tackling issues such as wellness, stigma, and creativity. Join co-hosts Chris, Ryan, Gopi, and Emily each week for upbeat and informative segments such as 'Quizzo', '20 Facts in 120 Seconds', 'The 'X' Affect', 'Mood Disorders in the News', as well as interviews with the experts.

Dr. Hudziak is coauthor of one of the largest genetic studies looking at risk factors in children and youth. His research efforts have involved the study of genetic factors including social behaviors, obsessive-compulsive, attention, and aggressive behavior in boys and girls. 

The Flipswitch interview with Dr. Hudziak has been transcribed below.