Women and Infants' Stress and Health
The goal of this study is to understand how babies and their mothers learn to respond to stress during the early years of the baby's life. Participating women complete questionnaires and do a mildly stressful task alone (during pregnancy) or with their babies (at four different times over the first two years of the baby's life) and collect saliva samples that tell us about stress responses, either at home or at one of our lab sites. We aim to use what we learn to better support expecting parents who may be at risk for stress-related health problems and improve their children's resilience to stress throughout life.
Women are asked to participate in six sessions over Zoom and/or at the PACT Center between their 28th week of pregnancy and when their child is 2 years old. During these sessions, which last up to 2 hours each, mothers and babies will 1. participate in mildly stressful tasks (like having the mother leave the room for up to 3 minutes and then return) and games to assess the baby’s emotional and cognitive development 2. provide saliva samples by drooling into a tube (for the mother) or holding a cotton swab in their baby’s mouth to get it wet 3. fill out questionnaires about themselves and their baby 4. take part in clinical interviews that ask about mood and other markers of psychological ill-being
18 or older