Psychological and Biological Effects on Child Development

Stefanie Pilkay (SWK) PI and Brooks Gump (PHP) co-I, 2022 Falk Tenure-track Assistant Professor Research Seed Grants. 7/1/22-6/30/23

Psychological and biological stressors such as poverty, parental mental illness, and environmental toxicants influence child health and development. This research examines the effects living in poverty has on a child’s development and whether there is a greater likelihood of future health issues arising due to inflammation and oxidative stress. Using the social and biological stress data from the Syracuse Lead Study, blood samples collected from children ages 9-11 years old will be analyzed to determine if there are changes within the DNA methylation. By looking at specific DNA methylations, this research will help identify influential relationships among child poverty status, maternal depression, maternal stress, child lead levels and child cognitive functioning and behavioral assessments.