Leve, L. D., Neiderhiser, J. M., Shaw, D. S., Ganiban, J., Natsuaki, M. N., & Reiss, D. (2013). The Early Growth and Development Study: A prospective adoption study of child behavior from birth through middle childhood. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 16, 412–423. PMC: 3572752
Abstract: The Early Growth and Development Study is a prospective adoption study of birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted children recruited in two cohorts (N = 561 triads). The primary study aims are to examine how family, peer, and contextual processes affect children’s adjustment, and to examine their interplay (mediation, moderation) with genetic influences. Participants were recruited through adoption agencies located throughout the United States, following the birth of a child. Assessments are ongoing, in 9-month intervals until the child reaches 3 years of age and in one-year intervals thereafter through age 9. Data collection includes the following primary constructs: child temperament, social behavior, school performance, mental health, and health; birth and adoptive parent personality characteristics, mental health, competence, stress, health, context, substance use, parenting, and marital relations; and pregnancy use of drugs and maternal stress during pregnancy. DNA and salivary cortisol samples have also been collected. Analyses have indicated evidence for genotype-environment interactions during early childhood. Study procedures, sample representativeness (including tests of potential confounds in the adoption design), and an overview of findings to date are summarized, and future plans are described.