Text Alternative of Video: NICHD Research Video Series: Stephen Gilman

To view the original video, please go to Video: Why do we study behavioral health?: Stephen Gilman (07/12/2017)

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Camera view of elementary-school–age children riding swings on a playground.

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Stephen Gilman, Sc.D.: Social and behavioral research seeks to understand how societal factors like economics, for example,…

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Banner text: Stephen Gilman, Sc.D.
Acting Chief, Health Behavior Branch, NICHD

Stephen Gilman: …in combination with our individual behaviors, shapes health. And as a population scientist at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, I have to expand it a little further to say that, here, we're interested in…

Camera view of a mother in a hospital gown and a father in scrubs holding a newborn baby.

Stephen Gilman: …how social and behavioral science research can be used to understand children's development.

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Stephen Gilman: Why is social and behavioral science research important? Two big reasons. First, social and behavioral science research can help us understand mechanisms of…

Camera view of children playing soccer in a park.

Stephen Gilman: …child development, because so much of the biology of development is…

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Stephen Gilman: …responsive to or contingent on the environment. Second, social and behavioral science research can help us design and test interventions that are designed…

Camera view of a health care professional with a tongue depressor examining a child with her mouth open.

Stephen Gilman: …to improve the health of individuals and also the health of populations.

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Stephen Gilman: A major goal of our lab's research is to understand how social and economic environments…

Camera view of medical professionals looking at brain scans.

Stephen Gilman: …influence children's neurodevelopment. And the reason this is so important is because we're learning that…

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Stephen Gilman: …health across the entire life span is very strongly influenced…

Camera view of two preschool-age girls coloring in a classroom.

Stephen Gilman: …by the foundations of development in early childhood. We…

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Stephen Gilman: …completed a study last year in which we investigated neurological problems among very young children. What we found is that children living in economically disadvantaged households had 20 percent higher risks of neurologic problems as early as 4 months of age. And those risks persisted through the end of the study, which was when they were 7 years old.

Camera view of several preschoolers sitting in a classroom, smiling.

Stephen Gilman: What we're doing going forward is to try and better understand the mechanisms involved and how these…

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Stephen Gilman: …risks might be prevented in the future.

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