HCRC researchers are partnering with Northwestern University on a new phase of the seminal Chicago Longitudinal Study (CLS). Since 1985, the CLS has tracked the development of a group of 1,539 individuals who grew up in urban poverty. Intervention group members attended the Child-Parent Centers (CPC) beginning in preschool and continued participation through 2nd or 3rd grade. As one of the original federally-funded early childhood programs, CPC provides comprehensive educational and family support services through collaborative site-based leadership, small classes, engaged instruction and professional learning, and parent engagement. Previous CLS findings have linked CPC participation to enhanced multidimensional wellbeing through mid-life, including higher rates of educational attainment and occupational prestige, lower rates of criminal justice system involvement, and more.
The new phase of CLS research, which began in spring 2017, further examines the connection between CPC participation, educational attainment, and physical and mental health outcomes at age 37-39. Over 700 participants have been invited to participate in a comprehensive examination at Northwestern University’s Department of Preventive Medicine clinic in downtown Chicago. The examination involves a variety of physical and mental health measures, including collection of biomarkers (e.g., lipid panel, blood pressure, inflammation, HbA1c); body composition, nutrition, and exercise; and administration of a semi-structured mental health interview. Results will enhance understanding of the ways in which early childhood educational intervention promotes lifelong physical and psychological wellbeing.
The study continues through 2021 and is funded by the National Institutes of Health and is directed by Dr. Arthur Reynolds (University of Minnesota), Dr. Suh-Ruu Ou (University of Minnesota), and Dr. Norrina Bai Allen (Northwestern University).
For more information on the Chicago Longitudinal Study, visit: http://www.cehd.umn.edu/icd/research/cls/