Current Collaborative Projects

These are the collaborative projects currently underway.

Longitudinal Behavioral, Sociodemographic and Contextual Predictors of Young Adult Sleep Health and Well-being

Principal Investigator: Lauren Hale

Funder:  Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development

This project will add sleep-related questions to the age 22 young adult general survey in the full FFCWS cohort. Then, on a subsample of approximately (n~900) adolescents who participated in the age 15 actigraphy data collection, the project will collect 14 days of actigraphy data for sleep and physical activity, with a concurrent smartphone-based, twice-daily diary app collecting screen use and self-reported activity data (e.g., substance use, diet). This project enables the first actigraphy-based analyses of sleep trajectories from adolescence into young adulthood, and also seeks to identify the magnitude of sleep health disparities in young adulthood, and the extent to which contextual and behavioral factors account for social disparities in sleep. This project will also assess how sleep health trajectories across childhood and adolescence are associated with wellbeing in young adulthood, including physical health, social-emotional health, and socioeconomic wellbeing. Finally, this project will model within-person temporal dynamics between health and health risk behaviors (i.e., physical activity, pre-bed screen time, substance use, diet) and sleep health using two weeks of actigraphy and daily diary data. 

Computational Examination of RDoC Threat and Reward Constructs in a  Representative, Predominantly Low-Income, Longitudinal Sample At Increased Risk for Internalizing Disorders

Principal Investigators: Luke Hyde, Colter Mitchell, Chris Monk

Funder: National Institute of Mental Health

This project will assess approximately 600 young adults from the FFCWS sample, and use data-driven analytics to design, apply and validate multilevel-multimodal models of Threat and Reward constructs in an existing longitudinal cohort at risk for psychopathology. To predict internalizing symptoms, the project will identify biotypes cross-sectionally and examine the longitudinal plasticity of RDoC-informed biotypes. Harsh social-ecological conditions will be deeply assessed and used to forecast the onset/intensification of internalizing symptoms at multiple units.  Young adults participating in this project will be brought to the University of Michigan and receive a series of assessments, including MRI, fMRI, psychiatric diagnostic assessments, and self-reported survey measures of anxiety, depression, behavioral and environmental factors.

Epigenetic Mediation of Adverse Social Context on Stress Response, Socioemotional Development, and Health in a Population-Based Study of Minority and Low SES Children and Adolescents

Principal Investigator: Colter Mitchell

Funder:  National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

This grant will 1) assemble epigenome-wide data on 2,000 children at two points in time, 2) describe methylation patterns in 3 race/ethnic groups and across SES levels, and 3) explicate epigenetic associations with social adversity, biological processes, and socioemotional development. The expected results will be to provide estimates of: 1) population-based epigenome-wide DNA methylation measures for 3 race/ethnic groups in childhood and adolescence, 2) associations of social adversity across development (from in utero to age 15) with DNA methylation, 3) associations between DNA methylation and biological measures of stress response (i.e. telomere length and attrition, cortisol response, and DHEA levels), 4) associations between development of stress response behaviors and methylation profiles, and 5) comparisons of all these relationships in 3 race/ethnic groups and across a wide range of SES. 

The Fragile Families Challenge Machine Learning, Qualitative Interviews, and Causal Inference

Principal Investigators: Kathryn Edin, Timothy J. Nelson, Ian Lundberg, Barbara E. Engelhardt, Sara S. McLanahan, and Matthew J. Salganik

Funder: The Overdeck Family Foundation

What unmeasured factors influence adolescent experiences? We plan to interview adolescents with similar predicted outcomes but different observed outcomes to discover some of the “dark matter” that leads to unexpected outcomes. Focusing on two adolescent outcomes (GPA and the experience of material hardship), we will conduct in-depth, semi-structured interviews with approximately 50 sets of teens and primary caregivers in three of the FFCWS sample cities. By learning the unmeasured factors behind unexpected adolescent experiences, we will better understand the chain of events that lead to unexpected academic outcomes and family poverty.

Appending Educational Records to the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study

Principal Investigators:  Sara S. McLanahan, Lisa Pithers, Christopher Neilson, Louis Donnelly

Funder: The Overdeck Family Foundation

The goals of this project are both 1) to enhance the FFCWS data for improved analysis of our participants’ educational achievements and 2) to establish and document procedures for collecting education records data for amendment to large-scale surveys such as FFCWS, for the benefit of other researchers who are interested in similar work.

Reciprocal Genetic-Environmental Interactions

Principal Investigator: Daniel Notterman

Funder: National Institutes of Health (5R01HD076592)

This study is examining levels of and changes in telomere length (TL) and DNA methylation (DM) among child and teen participants in FFCWS and is identifying early social environmental predictors of these variable genetic characteristics. This study will assay TL and DM for children from saliva collected at Year 9 and Year 15. Researchers are examining the interaction between the social environment from infancy through early adolescence and: (a) telomere length and changes in telomere length between ages 9 and 15, (b) DNA methylation and changes in DNA methylation between ages 9 and 15, and (c) fixed genetic variants (i.e. SNPs).  They are also investigating the influence of the interaction of children’s measured genetic differential sensitivity and their social environment on telomere length and DNA methylation.