Upcoming Webinars

Click here to view recordings of previous webinars

"Introduction to the Handbook of Life Course Health Development", by Neal Halfon, MD, MPH, Tuesday, November 29, 2017, 9-10AM (PT) / 12-1PM (ET). REGISTER HERE.

"Life Course Health Development of Individuals with Cerebral Palsy", by Robert J. Palisano, PT, ScD, FAPTA and colleagues, Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 9-10AM (PT) / 12-1PM (ET). REGISTER HERE.

"Middle Childhood - An Evolutionary Developmental Synthesis", by Marco DelGiudice, PhD, Monday, December 18, 2017, 9-10AM (PT) / 12-1PM (ET). REGISTER HERE.

"The Emerging Theoretical Framework of Life Course Health Development", by Neal Halfon, MD, MPH and Christopher Forrest, MD, PhD. Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 9-10AM (PT) / 12-1PM (ET). REGISTER HERE.

"Emerging Adulthood as a Critical Stage in the Life Course", by David Wood, MD, MPH. Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 9-10AM (PT) / 12-1PM (ET). REGISTER HERE.

Support Us

LCRN is actively seeking additional funding to develop new and innovative transdisciplinary research and activities. If you would like to contribute, please contact Ericka Tullis, Project Manager, at ETullis@mednet.ucla.edu.

Growing Inequality: Bridging Complex Systems, Population Health and Health Disparities

By George A. Kaplan, Ana V. Diez Roux, Carl P. Simon, Sandro Galea (Eds.)

Growing evidence indicates that no single factor—but a system of intertwined causes—explains why America’s health is poorer than the health of other wealthy countries and why health inequities persist despite our efforts. Teasing apart the relationships between these many causes to find solutions has proven extraordinarily difficult. But now researchers are uncovering groundbreaking insights using computer-based systems science tools to simulate how these determinants come together to produce levels of population health and disparities and test new solutions. The culmination of over five years of work by experts from a more than a dozen disciplines, this book represents a bold step forward in identifying why some populations are healthy and …

Read full article

How Socioeconomic Disadvantages Get Into the Brain Across the Lifespan

By Pilyoung Kim

This webinar – the eleventh in the LCRN’s series on The State of Life Course Health Development Research: Past, Present and Future – features Pilyoung Kim, PhD.   Dr. Kim is Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of the Family and Child Neuroscience lab at the University of Denver (http://www.pilyoungkim.org/). Dr. Kim’s long-term research career trajectory is to examine the early life origins of socioeconomic disparities in health from a neurobiological perspective. Her current work focuses on the prospective effects of perinatal exposures to poverty-related chronic stress on the neural systems in new mothers and infants. Dr. Kim received her Master’s Degree from Harvard and her PhD from Cornell before …

Read full article

Neighborhood Adversity, Child Health, and the Role for Community Development

By Douglas P. Jutte, Jennifer L. Miller and David J. Erickson

Despite medical advances, childhood health and well-being have not been broadly achieved due to rising chronic diseases and conditions related to child poverty. Family and neighborhood living conditions can have lasting consequences for health, with community adversity affecting health outcomes in significant part through stress response and increased allostatic load. Exposure to this “toxic stress” influences gene expression and brain development with direct and indirect negative consequences for health. Ensuring healthy child development requires improving conditions in distressed, high-poverty neighborhoods by reducing children’s exposure to neighborhood stressors and supporting good family and caregiver functioning. The community development industry invests more than $200 billion annually in low-income neighborhoods, with the goal …

Read full article

Social disadvantage, genetic sensitivity, and children’s telomere length

By Colter Mitchella, John Hobcraftb, Sara S. McLanahanc, Susan Rutherford Siegeld, Arthur Bergd, Jeanne Brooks-Gunne, Irwin Garfinkelf, and Daniel Nottermand

Disadvantaged social environments are associated with adverse health outcomes. This has been attributed, in part, to chronic stress. Telomere length (TL) has been used as a biomarker of chronic stress: TL is shorter in adults in a variety of contexts, including disadvantaged social standing and depression. We use data from 40, 9-y-old boys participating in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to extend this observation to African American children. We report that exposure to disadvantaged environments is associated with reduced TL by age 9 y. We document significant associations between low income, low maternal education, unstable family structure, and harsh parenting and TL. These effects were moderated by genetic …

Read full article

Wisconsin’s Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families: Application of the Maternal and Child Health Life Course Perspective Through a Regional Funding Initiative

By Catherine A. Frey, Philip M. Farrell, Quinton D. Cotton, Lorraine S. Lathen and Katherine Marks

National experts are calling for more integrated approaches such as the life course perspective to reduce health disparities and achieve greater health equity. The translation and application of the life course perspective is therefore of great interest to public health planners, policy makers and funders to promote community-wide improvements in maternal and child health. However, few organizations have applied the life course perspective in designing strategic funding initiatives. For over three decades, Wisconsin has observed persistent racial disparities in birth outcomes. This complex public health issue led to the development of the Lifecourse Initiative for Health Families, a regional multi-million dollar funding initiative created and supported by the Wisconsin Partnership …

Read full article

Impact on health inequalities of rising prosperity in England 1998-2007, and implications for performance incentives: longitudinal ecological study

By B Barr, D Taylor-Robinson and M Whitehead

Objective: To investigate whether the uneven rise in prosperity between 1999 and 2008 accounted for differential increases in life expectancy in English local authorities. Design: Longitudinal ecological study. Setting: 324 local authorities in England, classified by their baseline level of deprivation. Main outcome measures: Multivariable regression was used to investigate the association between trends in prosperity between 1998 and 2007 and trends in life expectancy. Trends in health inequalities were assessed by comparing the experience of Spearhead local authorities (the 70 most deprived in 1998) with the average for all English local authorities. Results: Those local authorities that experienced the greatest improvement in prosperity experienced greater increases in life expectancy. …

Read full article

Prenatal, perinatal, early life, and sociodemographic factors underlying racial differences in the likelihood of high body mass index in early childhood

By MM Weden MM, P Brownell P and MS Rendall

OBJECTIVES: We investigated early childhood disparities in high body mass index (BMI) between Black and White US children. METHODS: We compared differences in Black and White children’s prevalence of sociodemographic, prenatal, perinatal, and early life risk and protective factors; fit logistic regression models predicting high BMI (≥ 95th percentile) at age 4 to 5 years to 2 nationally representative samples followed from birth; and performed separate and pooled-survey estimations of these models. RESULTS: After adjustment for sample design-related variables, models predicting high BMI in the 2 samples were statistically indistinguishable. In the pooled-survey models, Black children’s odds of high BMI were 59% higher than White children’s (odds ratio [OR] = …

Read full article

Closing the black-white gap in birth outcomes: a life course approach

By Michael C. Lu, Milton Kotelchuck, Vijaya Hogan, Loretta Jones, Kynna Wright and Neal Halfon

In the United States, Black infants have significantly worse birth outcomes than White infants. Over the past decades, public health efforts to address these disparities have focused primarily on increasing access to prenatal care, however, this has not led to closing the gap in birth outcomes. We propose a 12-point plan to reduce Black-White disparities in birth outcomes using a life course approach. The first four points (increase access to interconception care, preconception care, quality prenatal care and healthcare throughout the life course) address the needs of African American women for quality healthcare across the lifespan. The next four points (strengthen father involvement, systems integration, reproductive social capital and community …

Read full article

An integrative approach to health

By Kathleen Mullan Harris

In this article, I make the case for using an integrative approach to health, broadly defined as social, emotional, mental and physical well-being; for studying health among the young as an important marker for future health and well-being across the life course; and for understanding health disparities among the young as both causes and consequences of social stratification. An integrative approach bridges biomedical sciences with social and behavioral sciences by understanding the linkages between social, behavioral, psychological and biological factors in health. It is furthermore vital that integration occur in all steps of the research process: in theory, design, data collection and analysis. I use the National Longitudinal Study of …

Read full article

How experience gets under the skin to create gradients in developmental health

By Clyde Hertzman and W. Thomas Boyce

Social environments and experiences get under the skin early in life in ways that affect the course of human development. Because most factors associated with early child development are a function of socio-economic status, differences in early child development form a socio-economic gradient. We are now learning how, when and by what means early experiences influence key biological systems over the long term to produce gradients: a process known as biological embedding. Opportunities for biological embedding are tethered closely to sensitive periods in the development of neural circuitry. Epigenetic regulation is the best example of operating principles relevant to biological embedding. We are now in a position to ask how …

Read full article