Marriage and Relationships

Exposure to adversity has been shown to amplify individuals’ sensitivity to stress, increasing the risk of developing mental health problems in adulthood. Romantic relationships can serve as a broad resource in mitigating the negative impacts of adversity and stress on mental health; however, less is known about how everyday moments of closeness with one’s romantic partner impact experiences of daily stress for people exposed to adversity.

Brain Research

The prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes is growing at an alarming rate, including among pregnant women. Low-calorie sweeteners (LCSs) have increasingly been used as an alternative to sugar to deliver a sweet taste without the excessive caloric load. However, there is little evidence regarding their biological effects, particularly during development. Here, we used a mouse model of maternal LCS consumption to explore the impact of perinatal LCS exposure on the development of neural systems involved in metabolic regulation.

Dietary Health

Breast milk contains thousands of bioactive compounds including extracellular vesicle microRNAs (EV-miRNAs), which may regulate pathways such as infant immune system development and metabolism. We examined the associations between the expression of EV-miRNAs and laboratory variables (i.e., batch effects, sample characteristics), sequencing quality indicators, and maternal-infant characteristics.

Public Health

Exposure to ambient and near-roadway air pollution during pregnancy has been linked with several adverse health outcomes for pregnant women and their babies. Emerging research indicates that microRNA (miRNA) expression can be altered by exposure to air pollutants in a variety of tissues. Additionally, miRNAs from breast tissue and circulating miRNAs have previously been proposed as a biomarker for breast cancer diagnosis and prognosis.

Child Welfare

Intervention research and development for youth in the juvenile legal system (JLS) has often focused on recidivism as the primary outcome of interest. Although recidivism is an important outcome, it is ultimately a downstream marker of success and is affected by changes in other domains of youths’ lives (e.g., family and peer relations, neighborhood safety, local and state-level policies). Thus, the present manuscript proposes the application of ecological systems theory to selecting outcomes to assess intervention effects in JLS intervention research to better capture proximal and distal influences on youth behavior.