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Measurement Webinar - "Data Linkage" featuring Kimberlyn McGrail, PhD (Scientific Director, Population Data BC) and Anne Gadermann, PhD (Assistant Professor, Human Early Learning Partnership, School of Population and Public Health). August 1, 2019, 11am-noon PT. REGISTER HERE.

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Using the PSID to Conduct Life Course Analyses

By Narayan Sastry

This webinar, part of the LCRN’s series based on the Handbook of Life Course Health Development, features Narayan Sastry, PhD.   Dr. Sastry is a Research Professor in the Population Studies Center and Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, Adjunct Senior Social Scientist at the RAND Corporation, Co-Director of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (L.A.FANS), and Associate Director on the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). He is also Director of the Displaced New Orleans Residents Survey (DNORS) that is being designed to study the long-term demographic effects of Hurricane Katrina on the pre-storm population of New Orleans. Dr. Sastry has been at …

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Using the NLSY to Conduct Life Course Analyses

By Elizabeth Cooksey

This webinar, part of the LCRN’s series based on the Handbook of Life Course Health Development, features Elizabeth Cooksey, PhD.   Dr. Cooksey is a professor of the Department of Sociology and Associate Director of The Center for Human Resource Research at The Ohio State University. Elizabeth received her MA and PhD in Sociology from Brown University, and then held a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Carolina Population Center, UNC, Chapel Hill.  Her research interests focus on early childhood through young adulthood and have a strong life course component.  She has a special interest in adolescent sexual and pregnancy behaviors, on the transition to adulthood, and on linkages between family situations …

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Handbook of Developmental Systems Theory and Methodology

By Peter C. M. Molenaar, Richard M. Lerner, and Karl M. Newell

Developmental systems theory provides powerful tools for predicting complex, dynamic interactions among biological and environmental processes in human behavior and health. This groundbreaking handbook provides a roadmap for integrating key concepts of developmental systems theory (such as self-organization, reciprocal dynamic interaction, and probabilistic epigenesis) and simulation models (connectionist and agent-based models) with advanced dynamic modeling approaches for testing these theories and models. Premier developmental science scholars present innovations in research design, measurement, and analysis that offer new means of generating evidence-based decisions to optimize the course of health and positive functioning across the life span. Topics include epigenetic development and evolution; the relationship between neural systems growth and psychological development; …

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A lifecourse approach to health development: implications for the maternal and child health research agenda

By Shirley A. Russ, Kandyce Larson, Ericka Tullis, Neal Halfon

Lifecourse-informed models of health fundamentally challenge simple biomedical models, introducing new ways of thinking about how diseases develop. This paper considers the broad implications of lifecourse theory for the maternal and child health (MCH) research agenda. The Lifecourse Health Development model provides an organizing framework for a synthesis of the existing literature on lifecourse health and identification of gaps in knowledge. Priority areas identified for MCH research in order to close these knowledge gaps include: epigenetic mechanisms and their potential mutability; peri-conception as a critical and sensitive period for environmental exposures; maternal health prior to pregnancy; the role of the placenta as an important regulator of the intra-uterine environment; and ways to …

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Marginal structural models: the way forward for life course epidemiology?

By Bianca L. De Stavola and Rhian M. Daniel

The study of life-course socioeconomic disadvantage and health raises several important conceptual and methodologic problems. Nandi and coauthors attempt to address some of these in this issue of EPIDEMIOLOGY. In this commentary, we review them and discuss whether their proposed solution is sufficiently broad to be invoked more generally in life-course research, and we highlight the caution required when doing so. Read full article

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Structured regression analyses of life course processes: an example exploring how maternal depression in early childhood affects children’s subsequent internalizing behavior

By L Giles L, M Davies, M Whitrow, A Rumbold, J Lynch, M Sawyer and V Moore

PURPOSE: One of the specific aims of life course epidemiology is to assess the explanatory utility of three general hypotheses, namely the critical period hypothesis, the accumulation of risk hypothesis, and the effect modification hypothesis. METHODS: A structured regression approach to this problem is illustrated with data from an ongoing longitudinal study of children and their families established in Adelaide in 1998-2000. A series of nested models that correspond to the alternative life course hypotheses were fit in an investigation of the effects of maternal depressive states in early childhood on internalizing child behavior at 9.5 years. Both linear and logistic regression models were considered. RESULTS: The structured regression framework …

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From selection effects to reciprocal processes: what does attention to the life course offer?

By Jane D. McLeod and Eliza K. Pavalko

In this chapter, we review how the term “selection effects” has been used by researchers, what processes are implied by the term, and how analyses of selection effects can contribute to our understanding of the associations between socially structured experience and individual health and well-being. Our review draws on the life course perspective to suggest that selection effects represent more complex processes than are often recognized and to create a template for more nuanced analyses of those processes. Through logical arguments and examples, we build the case for a sociological research agenda on selection processes equivalent in importance and relevance to our long tradition of research on social causation. Read …

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Life course epidemiology

By Diana Kuh, Yoav Ben-Shlomo, J Lynch, J Hallkvist and Chris Power

The aim of this glossary is to encourage a dialogue that will advance the life course perspective. Read full article

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A life course approach to chronic disease epidemiology: conceptual models, empirical challenges and interdisciplinary perspectives

By Yoav Ben-Shlomo and Diana Kuh

Over the last few years there has been increasing interest in conceptualizing disease aetiology within a life course framework. This approach is not new to Public Health or unique to epidemiology. However, its current resonance and interest within epidemiology reflects the challenging theoretical framework this approach provides. This issue of the International Journal of Epidemiology has several papers with a life course theme. This accompanying editorial is intended to highlight what we believe are the key conceptual issues around life course epidemiology. We have chosen to use examples from chronic disease epidemiology, but this approach is also applicable within the context of infectious diseases and wider notions of health and …

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