Social Confounders for Health Outcomes Linked to Education (SCHOOL)

SCHOOL is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD). This study is designed to further elucidate the pathways involved in the relationship between education and health outcomes and in doing so carefully identify the specific aspects and qualities of educational experiences that are responsible for this relationship, as well as the mediating factors that affect the nature of the causal relationship. SCHOOL will utilize an existing cohort from an NICHD-funded study of mother-infant pairs, SMART (Social Media and Risk Reduction Training for Infant Care Practices), to collect new data, which can be used in combination with previously collected data. This study will clarify the childhood experiences that explain the relationship between education and children’s health.

This study will take place over 5 years. First, existing data from SAFE and SMART will be analyzed. Second, qualitative analyses will be conducted with current SMART families. The goal of these qualitative studies is to widen the definition of education to better capture and understand the full range of parental education experiences and critical home experiences that predict children’s health outcomes. Third, the SCHOOL data collection protocol will be developed and piloted. The protocol will include multiple modalities of data collection, including parent-report surveys, rich and informative home and school observations, and comprehensive, standardized direct assessments of parents and children. Finally, this study will implement the SCHOOL data collection protocol with a sample from the SMART study. This approach will enable detailed examination of both concurrent and predictive pathways through which early parental education and home and school experiences contribute to children’s health.