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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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LCRN is actively seeking additional funding to develop new and innovative transdisciplinary research and activities.

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 …

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CIFAR Symposium 2014: From Cell to Society

By Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

On February 6, 2014, CIFAR hosted a symposium which brought together the extended CIFAR community to continue the work that Clyde Hertzman began.   From Cell to Society explored the archeology of biological embedding – the layers and interconnections of development affected by experience – and pointed to ways in which the science can inform policies and interventions to give all children a better chance.   Clyde Hertzman was a long-serving senior fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Over the course of 25 years, he contributed to four CIFAR programs and was a driving force behind two programs – Successful Societies and Child & Brain Development – at …

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Life course perspective: evidence for the role of nutrition

By Dena R. Herman, Marion Taylor Baer, Elizabeth Adams, Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Nelida Duran, Donna B. Johnson, Elizabeth Yakes

The “Life Course Perspective” proposes that environmental exposures, including biological, physical, social, and behavioral factors, as well as life experiences, throughout the entire life span, influence health outcomes in current and future generations. Nutrition, from preconception to adulthood, encompasses all of these factors and has the potential to positively or negatively shape the individual or population health trajectories and their intergenerational differences. This paper applies the T2E2 model (timing, timeline, equity and environment), developed by Fine and Kotelchuck, as an overlay to examine advances in nutritional science, as well as the complex associations between life stages, nutrients, nutrigenomics, and access to healthy foods, that support the life course perspective. Examples …

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Stress and the brain: how experiences and exposures across the life span shape health, development, and learning in adolescence

By Sara B. Johnson and Robert W. Blum

Recognizing the utility of a life course perspective, this special issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health examines the impact of experience in shaping brain and behavior from the prenatal period through adolescence. This issue is based on a conference, “Stress and the Brain: Implications for Health, Development and Learning,” held at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in April 2011. It was a collaboration of the Schools of Education and Public Health and was sponsored by the Carol and Eugene Ludwig Fund. The conference brought together a multidisciplinary group of experts to consider the role of stress, adversity, and experience broadly defined, during the prenatal, childhood, and …

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Integrating risks for type 2 diabetes across childhood: a life course perspective

By Rika Tanda and Pamela J. Salsberry

Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) emerged among children, due in large measure to a strong physiological link between increased weight states and T2DM. In this article, cumulative risk factors for T2DM across childhood and its underlying mechanisms are reviewed. The points of intervention for T2DM should occur throughout childhood. The use of Halfon and Hochstein’s framework enables practitioners and researchers in the nursing field to better understand a child’s individual risk for T2DM. Only with this long view will prevention and interventions be successful in stemming the tide of the “twin epidemic” threatening children worldwide. Read full article

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Fetal programming of body composition, obesity, and metabolic function: the role of intrauterine stress and stress biology

By S Entringer, C Buss, JM Swanson, DM Cooper, DA Wing, F Waffarn, PD Wadhwa

Epidemiological, clinical, physiological, cellular, and molecular evidence suggests that the origins of obesity and metabolic dysfunction can be traced back to intrauterine life and supports an important role for maternal nutrition prior to and during gestation in fetal programming. The elucidation of underlying mechanisms is an area of interest and intense investigation. In this perspectives paper we propose that in addition to maternal nutrition-related processes it may be important to concurrently consider the potential role of intrauterine stress and stress biology. We frame our arguments in the larger context of an evolutionary-developmental perspective that supports roles for both nutrition and stress as key environmental conditions driving natural selection and developmental …

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Exposure to violence during childhood is associated with telomere erosion from 5 to 10 years of age: a longitudinal study

By I Shalev, TE Moffitt, K Sugden, B Williams, RM Houts, A Danese, J Mill, L Arseneault and A Caspi

There is increasing interest in discovering mechanisms that mediate the effects of childhood stress on late-life disease morbidity and mortality. Previous studies have suggested one potential mechanism linking stress to cellular aging, disease and mortality in humans: telomere erosion. We examined telomere erosion in relation to children’s exposure to violence, a salient early-life stressor, which has known long-term consequences for well-being and is a major public-health and social-welfare problem. Compared with their counterparts, the children who experienced two or more kinds of violence exposure showed significantly more telomere erosion between age-5 baseline and age-10 follow-up measurements, even after adjusting for sex, socioeconomic status and body mass index. This finding provides …

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Childhood antecedents to adult cardiovascular disease

By Neal Halfon, Philip A. Verhoef and Alice A. Kuo

Many of the most common and costly chronic adult health conditions have their origins in childhood and adolescence. This recognition is leading to both a profound shift in our understanding about the developmental origins of diseases such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) and a greater focus on how different risk and protective factors influence the developmental pathways that determine optimal health across the life span. Scientific breakthroughs in the basic, clinical and epidemiological sciences reveal how different stressors and exposures during what are now termed “critical” or “sensitive” periods of development can affect growth, tissue differentiation and physiologic set points that influence an individual’s response to …

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Childhood cumulative risk and obesity: the mediating role of self-regulatory ability

By GW Evans, TE Fuller-Rowell and SN Doan

We tested whether early childhood risk exposures are related to weight gain in adolescence and evaluate an underlying mechanism, self-regulatory behavior, for the risk-obesity link. Nine-year-old children exposed to a greater accumulation of multiple risk factors show larger gains in adiposity over the next four year period, net of their initial BMI. These gains in BMI during early adolescence are largely accounted for by deteriorated self-regulatory abilities among children facing more cumulative risks. Early childhood risk exposure leads to larger gains in BMI in adolescence. Given the importance of childhood adiposity to the development of obesity later in life, understanding the underlying mechanisms that link early experience to weight gain …

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New Insights Into Ending Chronic Disease

By David Barker

This webinar–the third in the LCRN’s ongoing series on The State of Life Course Health Development Research: Past, Present and Future–features David Barker, MD, PhD, FRS, Physician and Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Southampton, U.K., and Professor in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University.   Nearly 20 years ago, Dr. Barker showed for the first time that people who had low birthweight are at greater risk of developing coronary heart disease. In 1995, the British Medical Journal named this the “Barker Hypothesis.” It is now widely accepted. In 2010, Time Magazine called it the “New Science.” In 2003, Dr. Barker joined …

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