Jeanne Brooks-Gunn's research while affiliated with Teachers College and other places

Publications (713)

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Although pregnancy and the first year of life are sensitive windows for child development, we know very little about the lived experiences of mothers living in poverty or near poverty during the perinatal period; specifically, how they perceive and use public resources to support themselves and their newborn. In this qualitative study, we explore h...
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Gun violence is a major public health problem and costs the United States ${\$}$280 billion annually (1). Although adolescents are disproportionately impacted (e.g. premature death), we know little about how close adolescents live to deadly gun violence incidents and whether such proximity impacts their socioemotional development (2, 3). Moreover,...
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Early childhood intervention is particularly cost-beneficial when it reduces justice involvement, but ingredients that contribute to this outcome are unknown. The goal of this study was to estimate the effects of two common early childhood intervention ingredients-home visits and center-based education-on juvenile justice involvement. The Infant He...
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Objective: To investigate whether maternal violence exposure personally and through her child is associated with an earlier age of menopause, controlling for covariates. Methods: Analyses used merged data from two related sources. Although mothers (n = 1,466) were interviewed in 1995 and then 20 years later (2015-17), their children were intervi...
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Accumulating literature has linked poverty to brain structure and function, particularly in affective neural regions; however, few studies have examined associations with structural connections or the importance of developmental timing of exposure. Moreover, prior neuroimaging studies have not used a proximal measure of poverty (i.e., material hard...
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We describe the promise of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS) for developmental researchers. FFCWS is a birth cohort study of 4,898 children born in 1998–2000 in large US cities. This prospective national study collected data on children and parents at birth and during infancy (age 1), toddlerhood (age 3), early childhood (age 5...
Preprint
Gun violence is a major public health problem and costs the United States $280 billion annually (1). Although adolescents are disproportionately impacted (e.g., via premature death), we know little about how close adolescents live to deadly gun violence incidents and whether such proximity impacts their socioemotional development (2–4). Moreover, g...
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Telomere length is often used in studies of adults as a biomarker of cellular aging and an indicator of stress exposure. However, we know little about how telomeres change over time, particularly over the course of the important developmental period of adolescence. We use data on telomere length collected at two points in time spanning adolescence...
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Children experiencing poverty or low incomes fare worse than their more advantaged peers on a host of developmental and educational outcomes. Interventions have focused on strengthening parenting in families with young children, when supports appear to be most critical. But most parenting programs for low-income families fail to address parents’ ec...
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Background The geographic location of birth has implications for low-income children's upward economic mobility, as Chetty, Hendren, Kline, and Saez (2014) found in an examination of millions of income tax records from each county in the US. Additional work indicates that low income children in higher economic mobility counties have higher language...
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To identify the prevalence of and disparities in past-year exposure to deadly gun violence near adolescents' homes and schools, we linked national data on deadly gun violence incidents from the Gun Violence Archive to the age-fifteen wave of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a cohort of children born during 1998-2000 in large US citie...
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Background We examined, (a) whether in early childhood exposure to risky family environment in different domains (socioeconomic, mental, parenting practices, health behavior, and child-related risks) and accumulatively across various domains (cumulative risk) is associated with child's problem behavior at age 9, and (b) whether the association is m...
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Childhood adversity is thought to undermine youth socioemotional development via altered neural function within regions that support emotion processing. These effects are hypothesized to be developmentally specific, with adversity in early childhood sculpting subcortical structures (e.g., amygdala) and adversity during adolescence impacting later-d...
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Objectives. To investigate the long-term impacts of a family economic intervention on physical, mental, and sexual health of adolescents orphaned by AIDS in Uganda. Methods. Students in grades 5 and 6 from 48 primary schools in Uganda were randomly assigned at the school level (cluster randomization) to 1 of 3 conditions: (1) control (n = 487; 16 s...
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As the provision of publicly funded pre-kindergarten has expanded in recent years, public programs for infants and toddlers have received relatively little policy attention. However, federal, state, and local governments are now trying to promote quality in family child care and center-based programs that serve infants and toddlers, with an emphasi...
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Background Childhood adversity is, unfortunately, highly prevalent and strongly associated with later psychopathology. Recent theories posit that two dimensions of early adversity, threat and deprivation, have distinct effects on brain development. The current study evaluated whether violence exposure (threat) and social deprivation (deprivation) w...
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Psychosocial stress in childhood and adolescence is linked to stress system dysregulation, although few studies have examined the relative impacts of parental harshness and parental disengagement. This study prospectively tested whether parental harshness and disengagement show differential associations with overall cortisol output in adolescence....
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In this review we bring a psychological perspective to the issue of intergenerational economic mobility. More specifically, we present a new dual developmental science framework to consider the educational outcomes of parents and children together in order to foster economic mobility. We focus on two key populations: children in early childhood (fr...
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Importance: Adverse childhood experiences are a public health issue with negative sequelae that persist throughout life. Current theories suggest that adverse childhood experiences reflect underlying dimensions (eg, violence exposure and social deprivation) with distinct neural mechanisms; however, research findings have been inconsistent, likely...
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Two‐generation human capital programs seek to promote the education of parents and children simultaneously. This study examines relations between family participation in CareerAdvance, which recruits parents of Head Start children into a workforce training program, and children’s Head Start attendance. The sample included 293 children (on average 4...
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Childhood adversity is heterogeneous with potentially distinct dimensions of violence exposure and social deprivation. These dimensions may differentially shape emotion-based neural circuitry, such as amygdala–PFC white matter connectivity. Amygdala–orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) white matter connectivity has been linked to regulation of the amygdala’s...
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Childhood adversity is heterogeneous with potentially distinct dimensions of violence exposure and social deprivation. These dimensions may differentially shape emotion-based neural circuitry, such as amygdala–PFC white matter connectivity. Amygdala–orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) white matter connectivity has been linked to regulation of the amygdala’s...
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Objective To test the association between early puberty and telomere length in preadolescent girls and mothers from a large representative sample of US females. Study design We analyzed data from 1194 preadolescent girls and 2421 mothers from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Participants were from a population-based birth cohort (19...
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A lack of affordable housing is a pressing issue for many low‐income American families and can lead to eviction from their homes. Housing assistance programs to address this problem include public housing and other assistance, including vouchers, through which a government agency offsets the cost of private market housing. This paper assesses wheth...
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A growing literature suggests that adversity is associated with later altered brain function, particularly within the corticolimbic system that supports emotion processing and salience detection (e.g., amygdala, prefrontal cortex). Although neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage has been shown to predict maladaptive behavioral outcomes, particular...
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The present investigation used a national sample of African American Head Start children (N = 640; Mage = 4.40) to determine whether conditions of socioeconomic disadvantage, particularly poverty, low parent education, and single parent homes were associated with children’s executive function (EF; attention and impulse control) and behavior problem...
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How predictable are life trajectories? We investigated this question with a scientific mass collaboration using the common task method; 160 teams built predictive models for six life outcomes using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a high-quality birth cohort study. Despite using a rich dataset and applying machine-learning...
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This study used longitudinal cross‐lagged modeling to examine reciprocal relations between maternal depression and child behavior problems. Data were drawn from 3,119 children (40% Hispanic, 30% African American, 20% White, and 10% other) from the Family and Child Experiences Survey of 2009 (a nationally representative sample of children served by...
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The present study tested how two different dimensions of childhood adversity, violence exposure and social deprivation, were associated with the cortisol response to the Socially Evaluated Cold-Pressor task in a sample of 222 adolescents (n = 117 girls, n = 167 African American). Participants were part of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing St...
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Increasing efforts are being undertaken to understand how to improve the use of research evidence in policy settings. In particular, growing efforts to understand the use of research in legislative contexts. Although high-profile examples of psychology's contributions to public policy exist-particularly around antipoverty legislation-little systema...
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Reliable, brief, and cost-effective methods to assess parenting are critical for advancing etiological research and translational efforts within parenting science. In the current study, we adapted the System for Coding Interactions and Family Functioning (SCIFF) for use among a sample of mostly racial minority adolescents aged 15 years old, growing...
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The Nurse‐Family Partnership® (NFP) is an evidence‐based home‐visiting program for low‐income, first‐time mothers. NFP® has demonstrated benefits for reducing child maltreatment and improving parenting, child development and families' economic self‐sufficiency. It is now implemented widely in the US where, despite the use of home visits, which gene...
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Two-generation human capital programs for families provide education and workforce training for parents simultaneously with education for children. This study uses a quasi-experimental design to examine the effects of a model two-generation program, CareerAdvance, which recruits parents of children enrolled in Head Start into a health care workforc...
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In recent decades, state funding for preschool programs has more than tripled as more states are trying to create universal access to Pre-K. Efforts to expand Pre-K access typically include the use and coordination of multiple preschool settings, notably those found in public schools and private community-based organizations, which often have disti...
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In this article, we ask how housing subsidies might influence young children. We examine two national housing policies – public housing assistance and the Section 8 vouchers program – and two demonstration projects that aimed to improve the administration of providing housing subsidies – HOPE (Homeownership Opportunities for People Everywhere) VI a...
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This article summarizes important contributions of the Child Development Supplement to the PSID (PSID-CDS) to knowledge in child development, time use, media use, and health. The PSID-CDS began in 1997, surveying 2,394 households, including 3,563 children; three waves of data on the first cohort were collected—1997, 2002–03, and 2007–08—and a new c...
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Although many immigrant children to the United States arrive with their parents, a notable proportion are first separated and later reunited with their parents. How do the experiences of separation and reunification shape the well‐being of immigrant children? Data were from a national survey of legal adult immigrants and their families, the New Imm...
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Cambridge Core - Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology - Human Development across Lives and Generations - edited by P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale
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Purpose: To assess whether childhood exposure to violent contexts is prospectively associated with risky adolescent health behavior and whether these associations are specific to different contexts of violence and different types of risky behavior. Methods: Data come from 2,684 adolescents in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a pop...
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Innovation in English as a Second Language (ESL) services to support Latino immigrant parents and their children is needed, and this study examines a novel program that suggests future directions for the field. The Community Action Project of Tulsa County, Oklahoma’s two-generation ESL program recruits parents of children enrolled in Head Start and...
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Telomeres are repetitive nucleotide sequences located at the ends of chromosomes that protect genetic material. We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to analyze the relationship between exposure to spatially concentrated disadvantage and telomere length for white and black mothers. We find that neighborhood disadvantage is...
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We examined the associations between preschool attendance and academic school readiness at kindergarten entry among 5-year-old children of immigrant mothers in the United States using data from a US nationally representative sample (Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Birth Cohort, N = 1650). Comparing children who were in preschool (Head Start, pre...
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Although many studies have investigated links between maternal employment and children’s wellbeing, less research has considered whether the stability of maternal employment is linked with child outcomes. Using unique employment calendar data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 2,011), an urban birth cohort study of largely low...
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We propose a two-generation anti-poverty strategy to improve the economic fortunes of children in the United States. Our policy bridges two traditionally siloed interventions to boost their impacts: Head Start for children and career pathway training offered through community colleges for adults. We expect that an integrated two-generation human ca...
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This study reveals the influence of child maltreatment on DNA methylation across the genome and provides the first evidence that a psychosocial intervention program, the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP), which targets mothers at risk for abusive parenting, associates with variation in the DNA methylome in adult offspring. The 188 participants were bo...
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Purpose: Nearly 12 million children and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Within sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda has been greatly impacted, with an estimated 1.2 million orphaned children, nearly half of which have experienced parental loss due to the epidemic. Cost-effective and scalable interventions are needed...
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Developmental psychology was a major area of research at ETS from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. This work was a natural extension of the programs in cognitive, personality, and social psychology that had begun shortly after the organization’s founding in 1947, consistent with Henry Chauncey’s vision of investigating intellectual and personal q...
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Recent research by Chetty and colleagues finds that children’s chances of upward mobility are affected by the communities in which they grow up [Chetty R, Hendren N (2016) Working paper 23002]. However, the developmental pathways through which communities of origin translate into future economic gain are not well understood. In this paper we examin...
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Associations between first-year maternal employment and mother—and youth-reported externalizing behavior at age 15 were examined paying attention to potential mediating roles of home and child care environments by 36 months, effortful control at 54 months, and externalizing behavior at 54 months and middle childhood. We used data from the NICHD Stu...
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Background and objectives: Father loss during childhood has negative health and behavioral consequences, but the biological consequences are unknown. Our goal was to examine how father loss (because of separation and/or divorce, death, or incarceration) is associated with cellular function as estimated by telomere length. Methods: Data come from...
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Objective: To test the association between sleep duration and telomere length in a pediatric population. Study design: We analyzed cross-sectional data for 1567 children from the age 9 study wave of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a population-based birth cohort of children born between 1998 and 2000 in large American cities (pop...
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Infant–parent interactions occur across many situations, yet most home-based assessments of parenting behaviors are conducted under conditions of low stress, such as free play. In this study, low-income mothers from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project were observed at home interacting with their 14-month-olds in the mildly stressfu...
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Racial disparities in cardiovascular disease mortality in the United States remain substantial. However, the childhood roots of these disparities are not well understood. In the current study, we examined racial differences in blood pressure trajectories across early childhood in a sample of African-American and European-American low-birth-weight p...
Chapter
Early childhood education programs and parent-child relationships are both critically important contexts for early childhood development. Recognition of this fact serves as the motivation for two-generation programs, which intervene not only in the lives of low-income children but also in the lives of their parents. In this chapter, discuss the evo...
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Adolescent mental health problems are associated with poor health and well-being in adulthood. We used data from a cohort of 2,264 children born in large US cities in 1998–2000 to examine whether neighborhood collective efficacy (a combination of social cohesion and control) is associated with improvements in adolescent mental health. We found that...
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This paper examines the association between the Great Recession and four measures of the risk for maternal child abuse and neglect: (1) maternal physical aggression; (2) maternal psychological aggression; (3) physical neglect by mothers; and (4) supervisory/exposure neglect by mothers. It draws on rich longitudinal data from the Fragile Families an...
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Objective: Child-rearing environments have been associated with morbidity in adult rhesus monkeys. We examine whether such links are also seen with leukocyte telomere length. Methods: To determine telomere length in leukocytes, blood was collected from 11 adult female monkeys aged 7 to 10 years who had been exposed to different rearing environme...
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It is unclear from past research on effortful control whether one of its components, motor control, independently contributes to adaptive classroom behaviors. The goal of this study was to identify associations between early motor control, measured by the walk-a-line task at age 3, and teacher-reported learning-related behaviors (approaches to lear...
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From a social disorganization standpoint, neighborhood residential instability potentially brings negative consequences to parent-child relationship qualities, but family social support and racial/ethnic identity may modify this association. Using data (n=3,116) from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, this study examines ass...
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Little is known about the extent and nature of low-income parents’ interactions with other parents and staff at childcare centres, despite the potential for these interactions to provide emotional, informational, and instrumental support. This study interviewed 51 parents at three childcare centres in low-income neighbourhoods in New York City. Twe...
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Background: Maternal labor force participation has increased dramatically over the last 40 years, yet surprisingly little is known about longitudinal patterns of maternal labor force participation in the years after a birth, or how these patterns vary by education. Objective: We document variation by maternal education in mothers' labor force pa...
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We have many reasons to invest in preschool programs, including persistent gaps in school readiness between children from poorer and wealthier families, large increases in maternal employment over the past several decades, and the rapid brain development that preschoolage children experience. But what do we know about preschool education’s effectiv...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the key program and policy issues surrounding teenage childbearing in the United States. These issues include the implications of childbearing for teenagers and their children, the factors that minimize unwanted outcomes, and the programs and policies designed to assist teenage mothers. Particular attention is paid to the ext...