Child Health Study (Project 1)

Child Health Study

Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State

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

Research Focus

  • 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

Who participates?

  • 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

Let's Get In Touch!

Sign Up for the Network Newsletter

Would you like updates from the Network and to receive the Network newsletter?