Center for Healthy Children
Child Health Study
The current study will raise the bar for scientific rigor through high-quality, well-controlled, mechanistic child maltreatment research that will inform new science aimed at developing novel interventions that address the mechanisms responsible for health disparities in maltreated populations.
Has the research been approved?
- The research has been approved by Penn State’s Institutional Review Board (IRB)
- We are an established ‘research partner’ with PA’s Department of Human Services (DHS) in accordance with Child Protective Service Law 23 Pa.C.S.6342 and this project is approved at the DHS level
- To discern the causes of, and solutions to, health disparities of abused and neglected children
- To articulate the costs and consequences of child maltreatment
- Translate findings into messages that resonate with policy makers in order to implore a larger public investment in child welfare and in prevention and treatment
- Boys and girls aged 8-13 with an investigated or assessed designation within the previous 12 months and a matched comparison group
What is included?
- Research activities include:
- Physical health including health history, blood profiles, MRI, and height/weight
- Mental health, cognitive functioning, caregiver/child interactions
- Resilience including school engagement, personal agency, social supports, and regulation
- Health education including exercise, dietary habits, sleep, and energy balance
- Breaks are incorporated including walking campus tours as well as art & science activities
How will families be invited?
- A letter is sent to eligible families stating that the research has been approved and that we will call them within one week to invite participation
- Opt out options are provided
How will families benefit?
- Families receive monetary compensation for participation
- Travel costs, meals, lodging, and sibling childcare are provided
- Families receive educational materials to promote physical and mental health
- Children receive memorabilia including a t-shirt with an iron-on image of their brain
- Indicated referrals to physicians, mental health providers, or education specialists are provided
How will participant data be protected and secured?
- A Federal Certificate of Confidentiality from the NIH
- A Data Security Plan (DSP) that is NIST 800-171 compliant
Why is this research important?
- Helps child welfare-involved families learn how to live healthier lives
- Helps change life trajectories for future generations
- It is a larger effort to enhance child maltreatment prevention and treatment
- Helps raise awareness about the impact of maltreatment and the importance of child welfare