Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State

Epigenetic Age Acceleration and Mid-life Cognitive Function Project (R01AG059682)

This project is examining epigenetic age acceleration, a cross-tissue index of cellular aging, and its relation to mid-life cognitive function in the Female Growth and Development Study (FGDS), a 30-year prospective cohort study of childhood sexual abuse. The FGDS also provides an unprecedented opportunity to test the mediational properties of glucocorticoid remodeling occurring over the 20 years following exposure to child sexual abuse on epigenetic age acceleration. Once models of epigenetic age acceleration and cognitive outcomes are developed with the FGDS discovery cohort, they will be exported for replication in three independent and international cohorts (N=2700) from the U.S., Canada, and Germany to extend models to more diverse samples, including older ages and alternative cognitive outcomes (e.g. mild cognitive impairment). 

Research Team

Profile photo for Chad Shenk, Ph.D.
Chad Shenk, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies