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Community Child Health Research Network (CCHN)

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Doctor and baby with parentCCHN funding recently ended;  Network researchers are currently finishing follow-up activities. The research blended social, behavioral, and biomedical approaches into a coherent community-linked study. Some publications from CCHN studies are listed below. Network researchers are preparing additional manuscripts that will examine the nature of maternal and paternal stress and their effects on allostatic load (the body’s response to chronic or repeated episodes of high stress).

A large community-based participatory research network in perinatal medicine, the CCHN was developed to examine how community-, family-, and individual- level stressors may influence and interact with biological factors to affect maternal and child health. CCHN examined how these factors might result in health disparities in pregnancy outcomes and in infant/early childhood mortality and morbidity. It is anticipated that the discoveries from CCHN research will provide evidence-based methods for interventions to reduce disparities in perinatal health.

The Network used community and academic institution partnerships to conduct a multicenter observational study to:

  • Determine the factors associated with maternal allostatic load.

  • Explore the relationship between maternal allostatic load during the period between births and birth/child health outcomes in a subsequent pregnancy.

  • Study how various resiliency factors, such as family and social support and religiosity, can mitigate the negative effects of high allostatic load on biological processes, including reproductive health.

Recruitment for the Network has ended , with 4,837 people in all, 3,079 of them women in their postpartum period and 1,758 spouses. Most participants were from predominantly lower socioe conomic levels, living in African American, Latina, or Caucasian communities in five regions of the United States.

The CCHN included cooperative agreements with five collaborating sites and a data coordinating center, in each case involving a partnership between an academic institution and community institutions. S taff from the NICHD’s Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch (PPB) as well as staff from the National Institute of Nursing Research were active in this effort.

Past CCHN Sites

  • Baltimore, Maryland
    Baltimore City Healthy Start, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and University of Toronto

  • Lake County, Illinois
    Evanston Northwestern Healthcare/Northwestern University and Lake County Health Department Community Health Center

  • Los Angeles, California
    University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); its affiliates: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and King-Drew Medical Center ; and community partners in South and Central Los Angeles organized by Healthy African American Families

  • North Carolina
    East Carolina University, University of North Carolina, and North Carolina Division of Public Health, Healthy Start Baby Love Plus network

  • Washington, D.C.
    Georgetown University, University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Hershey, Pennsylvania
    Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (Data Coordinating and Analysis Center)

Network Publications

Dolbier, C. L., Rush, T. E., Sahadeo, L. S., Shaffer, M. L., & Thorp, J.; Community Child Health Network Investigators. (2013). Relationships of race and socioeconomic status to postpartum depressive symptoms in rural African American and non-Hispanic white women. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 17, 1277−1287. doi: 10.1007/s10995-012-1123-7. PMID: 22961387

Dunkel Schetter, C. et al.  (2013). Shedding light on the mechanisms underlying health disparities through community participatory methods: The stress pathway. Perspectives in Psychological Science (in press).

Abdou, C. M., Schetter, C. D., Jones, F., Roubinov, D., Tsai, S., Jones, L., . . . Hobel, C. (2010). Community perspectives: Mixed-methods investigation of culture, stress, resilience, and health. Ethnicity & Disease, 20(1 Suppl 2), S2-41−48. PMID: 20629246

Patchen, L., Caruso, D., & Lanzi, R. G. (2009). Poor maternal mental health and trauma as risk factors for a short interpregnancy interval among adolescent mothers. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing,16,401−403. PMID: 19383021

Shalowitz, M. U., Isacco, A., Barquin, N., Clark-Kauffman, E., Delger, P., Nelson, D.,…Wagenaar, K. A. (2009). Community-based participatory research: A review of the literature with strategies for community engagement. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 30, 350−361. PMID: 19672162

More Information

Last Updated Date: 10/31/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 10/31/2013
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