Office of Epidemiology and Research, Division of Research

Advancing Applied MCH Research

Maternal and Child Health Life Course Research Network (MCH LCRN)

Funded Projects Search


Project Number: UA6MC19803
Grantee: UCLA
Department/Center: Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities
Project Date: 9/1/2010
Principal Investigator: Neal Halfon

Final Report



  • Women/Maternal
  • Prenatal
  • Perinatal/Infancy (0-12 months)
  • Toddlerhood (13-35 months)
  • Early Childhood (3-5 years)
  • Middle Childhood (6-11 years)
  • Adolescence (12-18 years)
  • Young Adulthood (19-25 years)


PROBLEM: There is compelling evidence of a link between early life exposures and later health outcomes, and for the influence of social and environmental factors on health development. Life course models have introduced new ways of thinking about how health and disease develop, and have major implications for MCH research, practice and policy. Phase I of the LCRN engaged researchers, practitioners, policymakers and advocates, resulting in 23 background papers and a draft of the MCH Life Course Research Agenda (LCRA). Phase II activities will further develop and expand the network, refine and disseminate the LCRN, leverage additional funding to support implementation of the LCRA, facilitate the translation of research to practice, and disseminate findings to professionals and the public. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: Goal: To advance research on the development of health and disease over the life course, and to maximize the impact of that research on MCH practice, programs and policy, and on the elimination of health disparities. Objectives: (1) Advance the LCRA in identifying the influences of early growth and development, childhood disease, poor nutrition, cultural and economic intricacies, and social and psychological disadvantage on health development; (2) Foster collaboration among network members; (3) Facilitate the development and implementation of scientific research studies focused on how social and physical contextual factors underlie health disparities; (4) Advance and implement critical research to address gaps and priorities identified by the LCRN (5) Accelerate the synthesis, analysis and translation of knowledge into practice; (6) Coordinate dissemination of findings to health professionals, policymakers, family members and the greater public. METHODOLOGY: (1) Finalize, disseminate and develop a strategy for implementation of the LCRA and a 10-year roadmap for the LCHD field; (2) Constitute at least 5 "nodes" to implement components of the LCRA, and support their work through competitive seed grants, administrative services, and partnerships; (3) Support development of a Health Disparities node and a corresponding research agenda; (4) Provide members withinformation about funding opportunities; (5) Survey state MCH directors, establish practice based learning networks, and support research into the family's role in health development, especially for CSHCNs; (6) Engage media, peer-reviewed journals and others to disseminate findings. COORDINATION: LCRN staff will provide administrative, editorial, dissemination and information services to members, and coordination services (and in some cases, funding) to support collaborative projects with partners including MCHB, AMCHP, CityMatCH, and the Packard Foundation. EVALUATION: Administrative records and member surveys will be used to measure network functionality and sustainability, and to monitor LCRN-sponsored research studies and publications. ANNOTATION: The MCH Life Course Research Network (LCRN) unites researchers, providers, policymakers and advocates to promote development, dissemination, implementation, translation and application of the Life Course Research Agenda. The LCRN supports members in study development, acquisition of data and funding, and peer-reviewed and online publication. Network activities improve the evidence base for MCH programs, and inform development of interventions that address the mechanisms underlying persistent health disparities, thereby improving individual and population health trajectories.


Listed is descending order by year published.

Larson K, Russ SA, Nelson BB, Olson LM, et al. Cognitive ability at kindergarten entry and socioeconomic status. Pediatrics. 2015;135(2):X32.

Halfon N. Socioeconomic influences on child health: building new ladders of social opportunity. JAMA. 2014 5;311(9):915-7.

Halfon N, Larson K, Lu M, Tullis E, Russ S. Lifecourse Health Development: Past, Present and Future. Matern Child Health J. 2013 Aug 22. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23975451.

Russ SA, Larson K, Tullis E, Halfon N. A Lifecourse Approach to Health Development: Implications for the Maternal and Child Health Research Agenda. Matern Child Health J. 2013 Aug 17. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23955383

Halfon N, Verhoef PA, Kuo AA. Childhood antecedents to adult cardiovascular disease. Pediatr Rev. 2012 Feb;33(2):51-60; quiz 61. doi: 10.1542/pir.33-2-51. Review. PubMed PMID: 22301031.

Larson K, Halfon N. Parental divorce and adult longevity. Int J Public Health. 2013 Feb;58(1):89-97. doi: 10.1007/s00038-012-0373-x. Epub 2012 Jun 7. PubMed PMID: 22674375.


Health Disparities, Capacity & Personnel, Life Course

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