Family Processes Impacting Early Executive Control in Children at Risk for Psychopathology: Pathways from Pregnancy to Preschool Age


Principal Investigator: Becca Brock, Tim Nelson
Funding Agency/Institute: NIH/NIMH
Status: Pending review
Planned Project Period: 07/01/2019-06/30/2024

The goal of this research is to understand the role of the multifaceted family system in the early development of executive control and, subsequently, risk for mental illness. The objective of this project is to conduct a comprehensive, multimethod investigation of the family system across the transition into parenthood to identify the family processes having the greatest impact on the earliest stages of executive control development in a high-risk sample of families. We will recruit pregnant mothers and their intimate partners, either partner with a history of depression or anxiety, and families will be assessed during pregnancy and when the target child is 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years of age. Further, our comprehensive approach to studying the family will be enriched with highly innovative continuous time interaction and ecological momentary assessment technologies using the Open Dynamic Interaction Network (ODIN). This research will inform novel family interventions targeting pregnancy and early childhood to promote early executive control development, and ultimately prevent mental illness across the lifespan.