The developmental origins of childhood physical, emotional, and behavioral problems begin in utero. Prenatal experiences “program” the infant for the context s/he will encounter upon birth, laying a foundation for health outcomes and disease. Exposure to prenatal maternal distress could affect susceptibility to child health and disease. Emotion dysregulation underlies many psychiatric diagnoses, and can be measured early in life. We will examine emotion dysregulation across two generations by enrolling 324 pregnant women and following these women and their children to 18 months. This study will lay a foundation for research continuing into childhood and advance our understanding of the intergenerational transmission of risk for psychopathology.
The goal of this study is to advance the science and technology of prenatal programing research by (1) identifying mothers with the full range of emotional distress and carefully characterizing maternal stress reactivity (e.g., autonomic and neuroendocrine) in a laboratory assessment; and (2) developing a novel, hypothesis-driven assay to assess epigenetic processes within a network of genes. When the aims of this project are realized we will have an improved understanding of early outcomes for infants of dysregulated mothers. We will also have created a novel assay, which will promote rapid replication as well as new investigations of stress-related epigenetic marks.
Collaborators: Sheila Crowell, PhD (University of Utah), Meaghan Jones, PhD (University of British Columbia), Michael Kobor, PhD (University of British Columbia) Catherine Monk, PhD (Columbia University), Sara Mostafavi, PhD (University of British Columbia), Marcela Smid, MD (University of Utah), and Julie Shakib, DO (University of Utah)
Funding: NIMH R21 MH10977701A1 (Crowell, PI, Conradt, Co-I, Kobor, Co-I, Monk, consultant), University of Utah department of psychology, Consortium for Families and Health Research at the University of Utah, Interdisciplinary Research Pilot Program at the University of Utah, and NIMH R01MH119070 (Conradt, Crowell MPIs)
We finished recruitment for BABY v1.0 in December, 2018! We are so grateful for the families that spent their time contributing to science and for our stellar team of graduate and undergraduate researchers.
Infants exposed to opioids and other substances are at risk for neurodevelopmental delays and the development of Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS). We are recruiting mothers who are using opioids while pregnant to chart the growth and development of their babies. We identify mothers prenatally and have plans to follow these mothers and their children throughout early childhood and beyond. The goal is to identify which infants are at risk for developing NOWS so that we can identify treatment targets for this underserved group of children.
Collaborators: Sheila Crowell, PhD (University of Utah), Marcela Smid, MD (University of Utah), Karen Buchi, MD (University of Utah), Julie Shakib, MD (University of Utah), Camille Fung, MD (University of Utah), Eric Garland, PhD (University of Utah), Michael Kobor, PhD (University of British Columbia) Catherine Monk, PhD (Columbia University)
Funding: University of Utah department of psychology, Consortium for Families and Health Research at the University of Utah
Rhode Island Child Health Study (Carmen Marsit, PhD, PI)
Maternal Lifestyle Study (Barry Lester, PhD, PI)
From pregnancy to parenting study (Jennifer Ablow, PhD and Jeff Measelle, PhD, PIs).