Utah State University to Participate as Secondary Site in National Children's Study

October 26, 2007

Congratulations to Utah State University for being selected as one of the secondary sites (Cache County, UT) for the National Children's Study. Rich Roberts Ph.D. will serve as PI and will hire staff specifically for the study. Other public health entities/LEND programs may be involved in other states.

The National Children's Study will examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of more than 100,000 children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21. The goal of the study is to improve the health and well-being of children.

The study defines "environment" broadly and will take a number of issues into account, including:

  • Natural and man-made environment factors
  • Biological and chemical factors
  • Physical surroundings
  • Social factors
  • Behavioral influences and outcomes
  • Genetics
  • Cultural and family influences and differences
  • Geographic locations

Researchers will analyze how these elements interact with each other and what helpful and/or harmful effects they might have on children's health. By studying children through their different phases of growth and development, researchers will be better able to understand the role of these factors on health and disease. Findings from the study will be made available as soon as possible as the research progresses.

The study will also allow scientists to find the differences that exist between groups of people, in terms of their health, health care access, disease occurrence, and other issues, so that these differences or disparities can be addressed.

The National Children's Study will be one of the richest information resources available for answering questions related to children's health and development and will form the basis of child health guidance, interventions, and policy for generations to come. It is anticipated that the preliminary results from the first years of the study will be available in 2009-2010.

As the National Children's Study proceeds, scientific knowledge will evolve and the Study will serve as an appropriate platform upon which to build additional scientific studies. Investigators from various sectors (such as academia, government, and industry) are encouraged to propose (and obtain approval to conduct) adjunct studies. Such studies will enhance the breadth, depth, and value of the Study and will assure continued interest of a diverse group of investigators, which is critical to the overall success of the Study. To protect the quality and integrity of the Study, adjunct studies will be reviewed and approved by a defined, rigorous process. Adjunct studies will generally require outside (non-Study) funding.