CRCW Research


Center for Research on Child Wellbeing affiliates are investigating a wide range of issues related to family and child health.

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and Sara McLanahan have been working with several postdoctoral fellows at Princeton to examine the pathways between family instability and mothers' mental health and stress. They are also investigating the relationship between parenting techniques and obesity, accounting for racial or ethnic differences.

Anne Case and Christina Paxson, both of the Center for Health and Wellbeing at Princeton University, are using data from several sources to examine the association between parents’ income and child health. They find that low income is associated with health disparities in children and that income disparities increase over time. They also find that poor health in childhood operates as a mechanism in reducing children’s education and adult earnings. They argue that health insurance and medical technology alone cannot eliminate health disparities in children and that policies must also target parents’ health-related behavior.

Dan Notterman is working with Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and Sara McLanahan to identify a set of genetic polymorphisms that are expected (1) to increase children’s exposure to harsh environments (e.g. poverty, family instability, violence) and (2) to interact with harsh environments in producing child outcomes. Notterman, Brooks-Gunn, and McLanahan are also looking at genotype and environment interactions related to mothers' postpartum depression.   Additionally, Notterman is testing the frequency of a series of genetic polymorphisms in individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

Christina Paxson is conducting research on child health in rural Ecuador. Her study provides poor mothers with unrestricted cash transfers with the goal of assessing whether conditionality is necessary for programs to have benefits for child health.

Cecilia Rouse and Christina Paxson are collecting data on the health effects of education beyond a high school level, examining in particular the Opening Doors program, which offers financial and academic assistance to randomly selected community college students from disadvantaged circumstances.

CRCW associates have also recently edited The Future of Children journal issues focusing on health topics, including "Children with Disabilities" and "Childhood Obesity."

Princeton University