Child/adolescent obesity is one of the most pressing public health problems today;it disproportionately affects Hispanic and Black children/adolescents as well as those living in poverty. Lack of physical activity and poor diet are well- documented contributors to child/adolescent obesity and reflect these same disparities. Environmental contexts may provide new answers to the origins of these disparities. Though recent studies have begun to elucidate the influence of neighborhoods on child/adolescent weight and weight related behaviors, schools remain an understudiedenvironmental context. My long-range goal is to increase understanding of the impact of schools on the health of children/adolescents and their potential contributionto racial/ethnic and/or socioeconomic disparities. Coupled with this goal is my desire to build relationships between clinicians, researchers, and policy makers so that empirical findings can be translated into effective interventions. My career development plan proposes additional training and mentorship in three areas critical to my development as an independent researcher: (1) population health sciences, including the social determinants of health (social epidemiology), demographic theory and methods, sociology (urban sociology, neighborhood influences, and social stratification), and economics;(2) advanced methods needed to analyze contextual influences on health (multi-level analysis, multi-equation models, sociometric analysis), as well as methods to address causal inference;and (3) substantive understanding of the role of macrosocial forces, such as educational opportunities, on health. My research plan includes 3 aims: (1) To determine the extent to which school factors contribute to racial/ethnic differences in individual dietary intake;(2) To determine the extent to which school factors contribute toracial/ethnic and/or socioeconomic differences in individual physical activity and weight trajectories from adolescence to adulthood; and (3) To simultaneously examine the influenceof school context and two other portentially influentialcontexts-peer networks and neighborhood environments-on physical activity and weight gain trajectories. The career development plan will provide the training necessary to support an R01 application toward the end of this proposed award period and the research proposed will lay the ground work for identifying school-based interventions that can reverse the obesity epidemic and eliminatedisparities.

Public Health Relevance

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
King, Rosalind B
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Children's Hospital Boston
United States
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Dunn, Erin C; Richmond, Tracy K; Milliren, Carly E et al. (2015) Using cross-classified multilevel models to disentangle school and neighborhood effects: an example focusing on smoking behaviors among adolescents in the United States. Health Place 31:224-32
Richmond, T K; Thurston, I; Sonneville, K et al. (2015) Racial/ethnic differences in accuracy of body mass index reporting in a diverse cohort of young adults. Int J Obes (Lond) 39:546-8
Dunn, Erin C; Milliren, Carly E; Evans, Clare R et al. (2015) Disentangling the relative influence of schools and neighborhoods on adolescents' risk for depressive symptoms. Am J Public Health 105:732-40
Peterson, Karen E; Spadano-Gasbarro, Jennifer L; Greaney, Mary L et al. (2015) Three-Year Improvements in Weight Status and Weight-Related Behaviors in Middle School Students: The Healthy Choices Study. PLoS One 10:e0134470
Richmond, Tracy K; Elliott, Marc N; Franzini, Luisa et al. (2014) School programs and characteristics and their influence on student BMI: findings from healthy passages. PLoS One 9:e83254
Richmond, Tracy K; Milliren, Carly; Walls, Courtney E et al. (2014) School social capital and body mass index in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. J Sch Health 84:759-68
Richmond, Tracy K; Spadano-Gasbarro, Jennifer L; Walls, Courtney E et al. (2013) Middle school food environments and racial/ethnic differences in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption: findings from the Healthy Choices study. Prev Med 57:735-8
Richmond, Tracy K; Walls, Courtney E; Subramanian, S V (2013) The association of adolescent socioeconomic position and adult height: variation across racial/ethnic groups. Econ Hum Biol 11:178-84
Richmond, Tracy K; Walls, Courtney E; Austin, S Bryn (2012) Sexual orientation and bias in self-reported BMI. Obesity (Silver Spring) 20:1703-9
Richmond, Tracy K; Austin, S Bryn; Walls, Courtney E et al. (2012) The association of body mass index and externally perceived attractiveness across race/ethnicity, gender, and time. J Adolesc Health 50:74-79.e2

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