A hopeful discovery about later-life cognitive function in those exposed to early-life adversity in rural South Africa

Older woman in South Africa

The HAALSI team of researchers is one of the first to look at the impacts of early-life adversity (such as parental unemployment, discord and substance abuse, and physical abuse) on later-life cognitive function in rural South Africa. Their findings published in Psychology and Aging suggest that cognitive function is, for the most part, resilient against early-life adversity.

Early childhood social disadvantage linked to risky health behaviors in adulthood

A new study by former Harvard RWJF Health & Society Scholar Amy Non, and Pop Center faculty member Laura Kubzansky published in the Annals of Human Biology finds that children who experienced early social disadvantage were, as adults, almost four times as likely to smoke, three times more likely to be obese, and almost five times more likely to drink alcohol excessively (women only).

Study first to find intervention helpful in preventing traits in adolescent boys that are considered a precursor to psychopathy

Former Harvard RWJF HSS program scholars Margaret Sheridan, PhD, and Katie McLaughlin, PhD, are co-authors on a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry that found a foster care intervention to be effective in preventing the onset of CU (callous-unemotional) traits—a development precursor to psychopathy—among adolescent boys who had been exposed to severe, early deprivation.

Height & health; new study looks at adults in China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa

PGDA Fellow Mark McGovern, PhD,  has published a paper in The Journal of the Economics of Ageing that shows a positive association between height and various measures of health in adults in six emerging economies, each expected to experience significant increases in the mean age of their populations over the coming decades.

Do fertility transitions influence infant mortality declines? Study sheds new light

PGDA Fellow Mark McGovern, PhD, has co-authored a study published in the October issue of Journal of Population Economics that presents a new approach to evaluating the relationship between falling rates of infant mortality and fertility reductions.