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Colter Mitchell- Univ. of Michigan ISR

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Thursday, February 08, 2018
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3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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Colter Mitchell
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DUPRI Seminar Series

TITLE:Biological Correlates, Mediators, and Moderators of Social Disadvantage

ABSTRACT: Measures of social disadvantage such as poverty, parental incarceration, family instability have well documented health and behavioral consequences for children, and even into adulthood. Social disadvantage likely operates through both social and biological mechanisms; however, only in the last decade and a half have we seen a rapid increase in the integration of social science and biology. I investigate biological correlates of social disadvantage using the Fragile Family and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCW). FFCW (n=4898) is a representative sample of children born in hospitals in 20 cities in the US with an oversample of nonmarital births. Families have been studied at birth and ages 1,3,5,9, and 15. Due to the study design the sample is racially and ethnically diverse and has much lower SES levels than most large national studies- exceptionally rare within biosocial research. Although not initially designed for biosocial research, recent collection of genetics, epigenetics, and neuroimaging has afforded the opportunity to examine biosocial correlates of social disadvantage and child development. In particular, the effect of cumulative disadvantage and timing of exposure has been a focus of this research. This presentation will provide an overview of this work and a discussion of future directions.