Investigating Cumulative Exposures among 3- to 4-Year-Old Children Using Wearable Ultrafine Particle Sensors and Language Environment Devices: A Pilot and Feasibility Study.
ABSTRACT: Interdisciplinary approaches are needed to measure the additive or multiplicative impacts of chemical and non-chemical stressors on child development outcomes. The lack of interdisciplinary approaches to environmental health and child development has led to a gap in the development of effective intervention strategies. It is hypothesized that a broader systems approach can support more effective interventions over time. To achieve these goals, detailed study protocols are needed. Researchers in child development typically focus on psychosocial stressors. Less attention is paid to chemical and non-chemical stressors and how the interaction of these stressors may impact child development. This feasibility study aims to bridge the gap between child development and environmental epidemiology research by trialing novel methods of gathering ultrafine particle data with a wearable air sensor, while simultaneously gathering language and noise data with the Language Environment Analysis (LENA) system. Additionally, psychosocial data (e.g., parenting quality, caregiver depression, and household chaos) was gathered from parent reports. Child participants (age 3-4 years) completed cognitive tasks to assess self-regulation and receptive language skills, and provided a biospecimen analyzed for inflammatory biomarkers. Data collection was completed at two time points, roughly corresponding to fall and spring. Twenty-six participants were recruited for baseline data, and 11 participants completed a follow-up session. Preliminary results indicate that it is feasible to gather personal Particulate Matter (PM2.5), language, and noise data, cognitive assessments, and biospecimens from our sample of 3-4-year-old children. While there are obstacles to overcome when working with this age group, future studies can benefit from adapting lessons learned regarding recruitment strategies, study design, and protocol implementation.
Project description:This article reports on the psychosocial development and factors influencing outcomes of 5-year-old children with cochlear implants (CIs) or hearing aids (HAs). It further examines differences between children with CIs and HAs with similar levels of hearing loss. Data were collected as part of the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment study-a prospective, population-based study. Parents/caregivers of children completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire ( n = 333), the Social Skills subscale from the Child Development Inventory ( n = 317), and questionnaires on functional auditory behavior (Parents' Evaluation of Aural/oral performance of Children), and demographics. Children completed assessments of nonverbal cognitive ability (Wechsler Non-verbal Scale of Ability) and language (Preschool Language Scale - fourth edition). On average, parent-rated Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scores on emotional or behavioral difficulties were within 1 SD of the normative mean; however, Child Development Inventory scores on social skills were more than 1 SD below the norm. Children with severe-to-profound hearing losses using HAs had significantly more behavioral problems than children with CIs. Regression analyses showed that non-verbal cognitive ability, language, and functional auditory behavior were significantly associated with psychosocial outcomes for children with HAs, whereas outcomes for children with CIs were associated with functional auditory behavior and the presence of additional disabilities. Age at hearing intervention, severity of hearing loss, and communication mode were not associated with outcomes. The results suggest that even children who develop good language ability with the help of a HA or CI may have psychosocial problems if they exhibit difficulties with listening and communicating in everyday environments. The findings have implications for developing interventions for young children with hearing loss.
Project description:Purpose Children with poor language tend to have worse psychosocial outcomes compared to their typically developing peers. The most common explanations for such adversities focus on developmental psychological processes whereby poor language triggers psychosocial difficulties. Here, we investigate the possibility of shared biological effects by considering whether the same genetic variants, which are thought to influence language development, are also predictors of elevated psychosocial difficulties during childhood. Method Using data from the U.K.-based Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, we created a number of multi-single-nucleotide polymorphism polygenic profile scores, based on language and reading candidate genes (<i>ATP2C2, CMIP, CNTNAP2, DCDC2, FOXP2,</i> and <i>KIAA0319,</i> 1,229 single-nucleotide polymorphisms) in a sample of 5,435 children. Results A polygenic profile score for expressive language (8 years) that was created in a discovery sample (<i>n</i> = 2,718) predicted not only expressive language (8 years) but also peer problems (11 years) in a replication sample (<i>n</i> = 2,717). Conclusions These findings provide a proof of concept for the use of such a polygenic approach in child language research when larger data sets become available. Our indicative findings suggest consideration should be given to concurrent intervention targeting both linguistic and psychosocial development as early language interventions may not stave off later psychosocial difficulties in children.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4> The quality of early caregiving experiences is a known contributor to the quality of the language experiences young children receive. What is unknown is whether, and if so, how psychosocial deprivation early in life is associated with long-lasting receptive language outcomes. <h4>Methods</h4> Two prospective longitudinal studies examining early psychosocial deprivation/neglect in different contexts (i.e., deprivation due to institutional care or deprivation experienced by children residing within US families) and receptive language as assessed via the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) were used to assess the magnitude of these associations. First, 129 participants from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, a randomized controlled trial of foster care as an alternative to institutional care in Romania, completed a receptive language assessment at age 18?years. Second, from the USA, 3342 participants from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study were assessed from infancy until middle childhood. <h4>Results</h4> Children exposed to early institutional care, on average, had lower receptive language scores than their never institutionalized counterparts in late adolescence. While randomization to an early foster care intervention had no long-lasting association with PPVT scores, the duration of childhood exposure to institutional care was negatively associated with receptive language. Psychosocial deprivation in US families was also negatively associated with receptive language longitudinally, and this association remained statistically significant even after accounting for measures of socioeconomic status. <h4>Conclusion</h4> Experiences of psychosocial deprivation may have long-lasting consequences for receptive language ability, extending to age 18?years. Psychosocial deprivation is an important prospective predictor of poorer receptive language. <h4>Trial registration</h4> Bucharest Early Intervention Project ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00747396
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between individual parent stressors (financial, legal, career, relationships, home safety, community safety, medical, housing, authority, and prejudice) and adolescent obesity in African American adolescents.<h4>Methods</h4>Data were from a cross section convenience sample of 273 African American parent-child dyads (ages 11-19) from Washtenaw County, Michigan. A subset of 122 dyads who completed parent and child questionnaires were included in this analysis. Parent stressors were assessed using the Crisis in Family Systems Revised (CRISYS-R) questionnaire. Height, weight, and waist circumference were measured by trained staff; height and weight were converted to BMI. Multivariate linear regression models were used to examine the relationships between individual parent stressors and adolescent BMI and waist circumference.<h4>Results</h4>Parental exposure to stressors related to safety in the community was positively associated with adolescent BMI (<i>?</i>?=?1.20(0.47), <i>p</i>=0.01) and waist circumference (<i>?</i>?=?2.86(1.18), <i>p</i>=0.02). Parental appraisal of stressors related to safety in the community as "difficult to get through" was positively associated with adolescent BMI (<i>?</i>?<b>=</b>?0.39(0.14), <i>p</i>=0.006) and waist circumference (<i>?</i>?=?1.00(0.35), <i>p</i>=0.005). These relationships remained significant when adjusting for behavioral and psychosocial covariates. There were no significant relationships observed between other parent stressors and adolescent BMI or waist circumference.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These findings suggest parents' exposure and appraisal of stressors related to community safety are associated with increased adolescent obesity in African American youth. Longitudinal, larger-scale studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms by which community safety may increase obesity risk in this ethnic minority pediatric population. This trail is registered with NCT02938663.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Early life exposure to neurotoxicants and non-chemical psychosocial stressors can impede development of prefrontal cortical functions that promote behavioral regulation and thereby may predispose to adolescent risk-taking related behaviors (e.g., substance use or high-risk sexual activity). This is particularly concerning for communities exposed to multiple stressors.<h4>Methods</h4>This study examined the relation of exposure to mixtures of chemical stressors, non-chemical psychosocial stressors, and other risk factors with neuropsychological correlates of risk-taking. Specifically, we assessed psychometric measures of both adverse behavioral regulation and adaptive attributes among adolescents (age???15?years) in the New Bedford Cohort (NBC), a sociodemographically diverse cohort of 788 children born 1993-1998 to mothers residing near the New Bedford Harbor Superfund site. The NBC includes biomarkers of prenatal exposure to organochlorines and metals; sociodemographic, parental and home characteristics; and periodic neurodevelopmental assessments. We modelled exposure mixtures using multi-dimensional smooths within generalized additive models.<h4>Results</h4>Children of younger mothers with lower IQ who were exposed prenatally to higher polychlorinated biphenyls and lead had poorer anger control. This pattern was not apparent for children of older mothers with higher IQs. Direction of associations between increased hyperactivity and prenatal levels of organochlorine mixtures differed by maternal age and depression symptoms. Higher cord blood Pb levels, in conjunction with poorer HOME scores, were associated with poorer self-esteem when mothers had fewer depression symptoms.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Analyses suggest that prenatal chemical exposures and non-chemical factors interact to contribute to neuropsychological correlates of risk-taking behaviors in adolescence. By simultaneously considering multiple factors associated with adverse behavioral regulation, we identified potential high-risk combinations that reflect both chemical and psychosocial stressors amenable to intervention.
Project description:Childhood obesity in the United States has doubled over the last three decades and currently affects 17% of children and adolescents. While much research has focused on individual behaviors impacting obesity, little research has emphasized the complex interactions of numerous chemical and non-chemical stressors found in a child's environment and how these interactions affect a child's health and well-being. The objectives of this systematic scoping review were to (1) identify potential chemical stressors in the context of non-chemical stressors that impact childhood obesity; and, (2) summarize our observations for chemical and non-chemical stressors in regards to child-specific environments within a community setting. A review was conducted to identify chemical and non-chemical stressors related to childhood obesity for the childhood life stages ranging from prenatal to adolescence. Stressors were identified and grouped into domains: individual behaviors, family/household behaviors, community stressors, and chemical exposures. Stressors were related to the child and the child's everyday environments and used to characterize child health and well-being. This review suggests that the interactions of chemical and non-chemical stressors are important for understanding a child's overall health and well-being. By considering these relationships, the exposure science research community can better design and implement strategies to reduce childhood obesity.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>This study explored the phenomenological experiences of migrant care workers working in the formal long-term care setting in Japan and identified their stressors on caregiving.<h4>Methods</h4>We collected data using in-depth interviews among Filipino (<i>n</i> = 21), Indonesian (<i>n</i> = 6), and Vietnamese (<i>n</i> = 4) migrant care workers. We conducted the interviews in either their native language or in Japanese. All interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. We analyzed the transcripts using thematic analysis. We used qualitative data analysis software NVivo 10<sup>Ⓡ</sup> to code and manage the data.<h4>Results</h4>Six key themes emerged that were related to stressors on caregiving. These include (1) coworker relationship, (2) language barrier, (3) work-life balance, (4) health concerns, (5) physical environment, and (6) patient relationship. Migrant care workers struggled with Kanji (Chinese characters) and verbal communication. Most of them shared having fatigue and chronic back pain. A few also mentioned about anxiety and depression. The low salary and heavy workload have made caregiving jobs unattractive to them. Workplace discrimination, patients' attitude, and a hostile work environment were part of their stressors at work.<h4>Discussion</h4>This study is the first step in highlighting the current issues being faced by migrant care workers in Japan. The stressors were the identified psychosocial issues of migrant care workers. The Japanese government is suggested to amend their care work policy and provide psychosocial support explicitly tailored for migrant care workers.
Project description:<h4>Background and objectives</h4>Much of the research surrounding firefighter health has concerned the hazards intuitively associated with the occupation, such as physical, thermal, and chemical risks. However, an additional aspect of their work environment, psychosocial stressors, has begun to attract a growing level of attention. Work-related psychosocial stress may best be described as mental and emotional strain caused by a combination of workplace events and characteristics, and the objective of our review was to identify the health outcomes associated with these stressors in firefighters.<h4>Methods</h4>A systematic review was performed of studies reporting on the psychosocial stressors and the associated health outcomes experienced by firefighters. Data sources included the MEDLINE, PsychInfo, and CINAHL databases.<h4>Results</h4>Twenty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria. Upon analysis, we found that firefighters experienced a range of psychosocial stressors (including interpersonal conflict and concerns over organizational fairness) and observed that these stressors were associated with a number of health-related outcomes that could be arranged into six areas: depression-suicidality, non-depressive mental health problems, burnout, alcohol use disorders, sleep quality, and physiological parameters and somatic disorders.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our findings strongly suggest that work-related psychosocial stressors can affect the health and well-being of those in the fire service, and highlight that interventions meant to address these psychosocial risk factors should focus upon promoting self-esteem, enhancing self-efficacy, and strengthening social support.
Project description:The objective of this paper was to identify the relationships and associations between child and parent characteristics with child fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption in an online obesity prevention program for 8-10 year old African American girls. Girls and a parent (n = 342 child-parent pairs) in the southwestern US completed baseline data collection from 2012 to 2014. Girls and a parent completed self-report questionnaires online. Girls also completed two unannounced 24 hour telephone-based dietary recalls. The relationships of parent demographic characteristics, child FV intake, and psychosocial variables (child and parent) were examined by analysis of variance. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated to determine the relationships between psychosocial variables and child FV intake. Child FV intake was significantly greater in the highest household education (p = 0.001) and income groups (p = 0.004). FV home availability was higher with older parents (p = 0.007) and two-parent households (p = 0.033). Child FV intake was positively related to child FV preferences (p < 0.001), FV home availability (p = 0.022), and FV home accessibility (p = 0.002) but was negatively related to family barriers to FV consumption (p = 0.000). The study highlighted significant findings between child FV consumption and parent psychosocial variables and demographic characteristics that may offer insights for the design of effective obesity prevention interventions for 8-10 year old African American girls. ClinicaTrials.gov (NCT01481948).
Project description:Shared reading research has become increasingly multidisciplinary and has incorporated a multitude of assessment methods. This calls for an interdisciplinary perspective on children's shared reading experiences at home and at the child care center and their relationships to oral language development. Here, we first discuss Bronfenbrenner's bioecological model of human development (Bronfenbrenner and Morris, 2006) regarding the relationship between shared storybook reading and oral language development. Second, we develop a framework for investigating effects of shared reading on language development in two important microsystems: the home literacy environment (HLE) and the child care literacy environment (CCLE). Zooming in on shared storybook reading as a proximal process that drives oral language development, we then develop a triad model of language learning through shared storybook reading that integrates approaches and evidence from educational psychology, developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, and corpus linguistics. Our model describes characteristics of children, adults, and books, and how their interplay influences shared reading activities. Third, we discuss implications for the Home Literacy Model (Sénéchal and LeFevre, 2002, 2014) regarding the conceptualization of shared reading as an important source of oral language development. Finally, to facilitate integrated research designs that include the two most important microsystems, we provide a critical discussion of assessment methods used in research that investigates the HLE and the CCLE and relate them to the shared reading triad in our bioecological model of shared storybook reading. We conclude with directions for future research.