This proposal is for a competitive renewal of the Notre Dame Study of Health and Well-being (NDHWB;R01 AG023571) to support an investigation of the myriad pathways through which life stress contributes to the physical and mental health across the adult lifespan, and of the resilience mechanisms that may protect those individuals from the ill-effects of exposure to adversity. The existing data set is unparalleled in the richness of stress measurement, collected over multiple time points spanning 5 years and including 5 annual questionnaire assessments and three 56-day data bursts (Years 1, 3, &5;two in the midlife cohort). These data allow us to examine multiple forms of adversity, their common and distinctive linkages, with subsequent indicators of health and well-being. With the present proposal, we broaden the study by collecting additional longitudinal data (expanding the study to 10 years), adding 2 additional data bursts to the later life cohort (Years 7 &9) and 3 bursts in the mid-life cohort (Years 6, 8, &10). We extend the study by adding a young adult cohort (ages 18 - 40), assessing them with 5 annual questionnaires and 3 data bursts (years 1, 3, &5) to better understand how these factors are developed and maintained in adulthood. Finally, we propose to add two 10-day bursts of cortisol assessments (collected 3 X day) on a subset of subjects (50 per cohort) to capture physiological responses to stress. The overarching goal of the expanded project is twofold: to comprehensively and precisely detail the types and qualities of life stress that may initiate the cascade of perceptual, emotional, and biological responses that can lead to disorder and disease, and to examine resilience resources that protect against them.

Public Health Relevance

In this competitive renewal, we propose to expand and significantly enhance the Notre Dame Study of Health &Well-Being (NDHWB) by including (1) 5 more years of intensive longitudinal assessments (including 5 yearly assessments and two separate 56-day bursts (three for the midlife), which will culminate in 10 years of survey data for the later life sample (9 for the mid-life cohort) and 5 56-day daily bursts;(2) a new young adult cohort (18-39) to the study (assessed yearly for 5 years and completing 3 56-day data bursts);and (3) two 10-day bursts of cortisol assessments (collected 3 X day) on a subset of subjects (50 from each cohort). This will allow for the assessment of interindividual differences in intraindividual variability and change across the adult lifespan in the risk and resilience resources that lead some to thrive and be well, and others to experience detrimental physical and mental health consequences.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Social Psychology, Personality and Interpersonal Processes Study Section (SPIP)
Program Officer
Nielsen, Lisbeth
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University of Notre Dame
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Notre Dame
United States
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