Understanding Disparities in Cognitive Development Through Context-Biology Interactions

Project: Research project

Project Details


In contemporary America, children’s life outcomes differ markedly as a function of their family’s socioeconomic conditions. Some of the most pronounced and intractable disparities are in the development of human capital. By the early years of childhood, disparities in language acquisition, school readiness, and executive functions are already evident. Despite the stakes, we know surprisingly little about the origins of these disparities, in part because social and biological scientists investigating them have worked in isolation from one another. This work proposed here aims to fill this gap by testing hypotheses about context-biology transactions. We leverage an ongoing NIH-funded study of perinatal health disparities to ask two questions: How do the gestational inflammatory milieu and postnatal caregiving environment interact to affect cognitive development? And to what extent do these interactions explain socioeconomic variations in cognitive development?
Effective start/end date12/1/1911/30/21


  • Russell Sage Foundation (1903-13567)


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