This resubmission of a NEW INVESTIGATOR led longitudinal study is in response to (PA-11-104) and will examine: (1) the impact of (GXE) genetic and psychological environmental factors (discrimination, depression, and parenting behaviors) on the health of African American (AA) children aged 3 through 5 years and (2) the GXE risk for hypertension (HTN) in AA women and children. The overall goal of this project is to delineate the psychobiological (GXE interaction) mechanisms through which AA mothers'perceived racial discrimination, mental health, and parenting behavior affect their own and their young children's blood pressure (BP) over time. Our research will examine both genetic (candidate gene and epigenetic effects) and psychological (maternal perceived racial discrimination, mental health, and parenting behavior) interaction effects on BP on this population. We will employ a psychobiological approach by: utilizing psychological and biological assessments using a longitudinal cohort research design, a 2-step candidate gene and epigenetic methodology, and use of ancestry informative markers to account for population stratification admixture to explore GXE interactions on BP in AA mothers and children. Data analysis for the study will be conducted using multiple mixed modeling, cross-validation, and false discovery rate methods. We will enroll 250 AA children aged 3 through 5 years and their (n=250) mothers/maternal caregivers. We will assess mother and child factors every six months for 2 years. We propose the following:
Aim 1 : Examine the GXE interaction and epigenetic effects of mothers'perceived racial discrimination and its influence on BP over a period of two years.
Aim 2 : Examine the GXE interaction and epigenetic effects of mothers'mental health status [symptoms of depression] and its influence on BP over a period of two years.
Aim 3 : Examine the GXE interaction and epigenetic effects of mothers'parenting behavior and its influence on BP over a period of two years. Our project supports NINR's mission "to promote and improve the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations" by conducting basic research on the health and illness of women and young children. The proposed research extends nursing science by integrating the biological (genetics) and behavioral (psychology) components that can inform the combination of multi-level factors that contribute to AAs having the highest incidence of HTN in the US. Findings from our project can contribute to developing interventions that address genetic and psychological factors to reduce these risks for HTN.
The proposed study is relevant for several reasons;first, it will investigate the combined association of genomic and psychological environmental effects on predicting high blood pressure and thus add to the body of knowledge of gene-environment interactions for hypertension among African American mothers and children. Second, our findings will also shed light on epigenetic and psychological environmental factors affecting blood pressure in this population. Finally, the proposed study will expand our understanding of how parenting stress and parenting style impact parents and children's blood pressure thus providing critical insights into in reducing hypertension health disparities among African American mothers and children.