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Child Cortisol as a Mediator between Early Maternal Stress and Childhood Pain Response

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Early childhood environment is critical to subsequent physical health in children and is influenced by children's primary caregivers \u2014 typically mothers. Maternal stress, one aspect of a child's environment, may shape the functioning of the child's physiological stress response system,

Early childhood environment is critical to subsequent physical health in children and is influenced by children's primary caregivers \u2014 typically mothers. Maternal stress, one aspect of a child's environment, may shape the functioning of the child's physiological stress response system, which has been linked to later health outcomes, including pain. The current study evaluated whether: 1) early maternal stress, defined as maternal depressive symptoms and low socio-economic status, predicts later child pain; 2) early maternal stress relates to later child daily cortisol output; and 3) child's cortisol output across the day mediates the relation between early maternal stress and child pain. Maternal stress was assessed via questionnaires at twin age 12-months. At twin age seven years, twins' salivary cortisol was collected three times per day for three days. At twin age nine years, twins rated how often they experienced stomach, headache, and back pain weekly or more frequently. Results of multilevel linear and logistic regression analyses showed that early maternal stress did not predict later children's daily cortisol output or extent of child pain. Therefore, findings were inconsistent with the proposed mediation model. However, there was a marginally significant negative relation between child daily cortisol output and later extent of child pain. Current findings suggest that functioning of the stress response system, reflected in cortisol output, may have implications for the development of child pain. Future work evaluating intensely stressful early environments may provide clues about the links between a child's early environment and the development of his/her stress response system.

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2018-12

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Parental Expectations and Future Pathways to Success

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Expectation for college attendance in the United States continues to rise as more jobs require degrees. This study aims to determine how parental expectations affect high school students in their decision to attend college. By examining parental expectations that were

Expectation for college attendance in the United States continues to rise as more jobs require degrees. This study aims to determine how parental expectations affect high school students in their decision to attend college. By examining parental expectations that were placed on current college students prior to and during the application period, we can determine the positive and negative outcomes of these expectations as well as the atmosphere they are creating. To test the hypothesis, an online survey was distributed to current ASU and Barrett, Honors College students regarding their experience with college applications and their parents' influence on their collegiate attendance. A qualitative analysis of the data was conducted in tandem with an analysis of several case studies to determine the results. These data show that parental expectations are having a significant impact on the enrollment of high school students in college programs. With parents placing these expectations on their children, collegiate enrollment will continue to increase. Further studies will be necessary to determine the specific influences these expectations are placing on students.

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2021-05

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Ethnic Discrimination, Socioeconomic Status, and Health in India

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Significant health inequalities exist between different castes and ethnic communities in India, and identifying the roots of these inequalities is of interest to public health research and policy. Research on caste-based health inequalities in India has historically focused on general,

Significant health inequalities exist between different castes and ethnic communities in India, and identifying the roots of these inequalities is of interest to public health research and policy. Research on caste-based health inequalities in India has historically focused on general, government-defined categories, such as “Scheduled Castes,” “Scheduled Tribes,” and “Other Backward Classes.” This method obscures the diversity of experiences, indicators of well-being, and health outcomes between castes, tribes, and other communities in the “scheduled” category. This study analyzes data on 699,686 women from 4,260 castes, tribes and communities in the 2015-2016 Demographic and Health Survey of India to: (1) examine the diversity within and overlap between general, government-defined community categories in both wealth, infant mortality, and education, and (2) analyze how infant mortality is related to community category membership and socioeconomic status (measured using highest level of education and household wealth). While there are significant differences between general, government-defined community categories (e.g., scheduled caste, backward class) in both wealth and infant mortality, the vast majority of variation between communities occurs within these categories. Moreover, when other socioeconomic factors like wealth and education are taken into account, the difference between general, government-defined categories reduces or disappears. These findings suggest that focusing on measures of education and wealth at the household level, rather than general caste categories, may more accurately target those individuals and households most at risk for poor health outcomes. Further research is needed to explain the mechanisms by which discrimination affects health in these populations, and to identify sources of resilience, which may inform more effective policies.

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2022-05