ECHO (EGDS-Pediatric Cohort)

We have established a reliable research infrastructure, exceptional measurement of the early childhood family social environment, medical records data, DNA and salivary cortisol samples, high retention rates, and reliable and transparent data-sharing methods. We will use our well-established prospective adoption sample to (a) help clarify causal inferences about environmental influences on neurodevelopment and obesity, and (b) explore the unfolding interplay between inherited child characteristics and environmental influences from birth to adolescence.

In the first phase (UG3), we will (1) re-recruit families of 1,000 children from EGDS; (2) generate pilot scale coding of adult medical records, pilot our geocoding system, conduct preliminary analyses, and develop and test a brief measure of social environmental adversity; and (3) collaborate and plan with the ECHO Steering Committee. It is clear that both biological and environmental factors play a role in the unfolding of health disorders beginning very early in development, yet the specific mechanisms and processes that lead to healthy development versus illness are not well understood. When combined with other ECHO pediatric cohorts, the data generated and analyses conducted in the proposed study will lead to improved guidance for future prevention efforts aimed at offsetting inherited risks and maximizing inherited strengths to promote healthy development.

Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (Echo) Program

Study Investigators:

Jenae Neiderhiser - Penn State University
Leslie Leve - University of Oregon
Jody Ganiban - The George Washington University