Upcoming Webinars


Click here to view recordings of previous webinars

Measurement Webinar - "Introduction to a Comprehensive Life Course Monitoring System" featuring Martin Guhn, PhD and Magdalena Janus, PhD. January 23, 2019, 1:30-3PM PST. REGISTER HERE.

Measurement Webinar - "EDI in US Cities" featuring Neal Halfon, MD, MPH and Lisa Stanley, DrPH. February 12, 2019, 1-2:30PM PST. 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.

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

Confronting social disparities in child health: a critical appraisal of life course science and research

By Paul H. Wise

The utility of the life course framework to address disparities in child health is based on its ability to integrate the science of child development with the requirements of effective and just public policy. I argue that the life course framework is best assessed in a historical context and through 4 essential observations. First, early genetic and environmental interactions are complex and influence outcomes in different settings in very different ways. Second, these early-life interactions are themselves subject to considerable later influences and, therefore, may not be highly predictive of later outcomes. Third, the etiologic nature or timing of early-life interactions does not, per se, determine if their life course …

Read full article

Health disparities beginning in childhood: a life course perspective

By Paula Braveman and Colleen Barclay

In this article we argue for the utility of the life course perspective as a tool for understanding and addressing health disparities across socioeconomic and racial or ethnic groups, particularly disparities that originate in childhood. Key concepts and terms used in life course research are briefly defined; as resources, examples of existing literature and the outcomes covered are provided along with examples of longitudinal databases that have often been used for life course research. The life course perspective focuses on understanding how early-life experiences can shape health across an entire lifetime and potentially across generations; it systematically directs attention to the role of context, including social and physical context along …

Read full article

Neuroscience, molecular biology, and the childhood roots of health disparities: building a new framework for health promotion and disease prevention

By Jack P. Shonkoff, W. Thomas Boyce and Bruce S. McEwen

A scientific consensus is emerging that the origins of adult disease are often found among developmental and biological disruptions occurring during the early years of life. These early experiences can affect adult health in 2 ways—either by cumulative damage over time or by the biological embedding of adversities during sensitive developmental periods. In both cases, there can be a lag of many years, even decades, before early adverse experiences are expressed in the form of disease. From both basic research and policy perspectives, confronting the origins of disparities in physical and mental health early in life may produce greater effects than attempting to modify health-related behaviors or improve access to …

Read full article

Racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes

By Michael Lu and Neal Halfon

In the United States, Black infants have significantly worse birth outcomes than do White infants. The cause of these persisting racial disparities remains unexplained. Most extant studies focus on differential exposures to protective and risk factors during pregnancy, such as current socioeconomic status, maternal risky behaviors, prenatal care, psychosocial stress or perinatal infections. These risk factors during pregnancy, however, do not adequately account for the disparities. We conducted a literature review for longitudinal models of health disparities and presented a synthesis of two leading models using a life-course perspective. Traditional risk factors during pregnancy are then reexamined within their life course context. We conclude with a discussion of the limitations …

Read full article