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Camera view of a teenage girl behind the wheel of a car, buckling her seat belt.

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Rosalind King, Ph.D.: Behavioral research is important because we all know what we should do,…

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Banner text: Rosalind King, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator, Population Dynamics Branch, NICHD

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Rosalind King: …but a lot of us don't do it, and we have trouble doing it. And what behavioral research does is help highlight why we're not doing what we should do and help us find ways that we can do it.

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Rosalind King: For the most part, most people are born healthy,…

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Rosalind King: …and they can maintain that health across their lives by their behavior.

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Rosalind King: Medical treatments are important when illness and disability occur, but even then, we need behavioral research to help us understand how people access care and how they adhere to what their doctors are telling them to do.

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Rosalind King: One project is looking at…

Camera view of a sleeping student with his hands folding on an open book and his head lying on his hands. His face is framed by two stacks of books.

Rosalind King: …sleep patterns in adolescents. Most of our knowledge of…

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Rosalind King: …sleep patterns historically has come from clinical samples, it's been people with sleep disorders, and it's mainly been adults. So we don't have a good picture of really what's normal and normative for the population…

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Rosalind King: …as a whole and then especially for children and adolescents. So…

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Rosalind King: …in this project, we have a cohort…

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Rosalind King: …of adolescents who have been studied since they were born. And we have a lot of…

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Rosalind King: …information about their families, their social environments, and their behavior. And what we're doing now is connecting that with data on their sleep patterns to show how those things interact.

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Rosalind King: One thing that they have found so far is the importance of…

Camera view of a mother reading to her two children in bed.

Rosalind King: …bedtime routines. There's a direct effect simply of having a bedtime routine…

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Rosalind King: …and sticking to it on adolescent sleep behaviors and outcomes. They're taking the additional step now of looking at how social and…

Camera view of a mother working at a desk in a home office, answering a cordless phone, with a toddler on her lap. Another young child runs into the room and to her mother.

Rosalind King: …family factors—in this case, how mothers' families' schedules are impacting the bedtime…

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Rosalind King: …routine, and that then creates an effect on the sleep, which links the social-familial environment directly to biological processes.

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