We currently lack knowledge on the intermediary mechanisms whereby lead exposure translates itself into increased behavior problems in childhood. This K02 Independent Scientist Development Award application will enable the candidate to develop an interdisciplinary program of research whose overarching goal is to uncover the cognitive and affective mechanisms of action underlying lead exposure-behavior problems relationship in a large sample of community children. This research program questions the current CDC """"""""safe"""""""" standard of 10 ug/dl of lead, and hypothesizes that early sub-clinical lead exposure results in negative clinical, cognitive, and affective functioning. Building on an NIEHS-funded community preschool cohort study, the investigators will first propose to repeat measurements of both blood lead levels and behavioral outcomes to assess whether children with sustained sub-clinical blood lead levels across time are especially likely to develop externalizing behavior problems. Second, the investigators aim to understand how lead exposure interacts with social risk factors in predisposing to externalizing behavior problems. Third, and importantly, they propose to elucidate the neurocognitive and affective mediating mechanisms by which lead exposure during the preschool years contribute to externalizing behavior problems in early adolescence. This K02 will help foster the candidate's ability to achieve these research goals by providing her with protected time to collaborate more closely with senior scientists in the field, to be more fully engaged in her NIH- funded international research project on this sample, and to enhance her interdisciplinary knowledge and skills in development psychopathology, environmental toxicity, psycho-physiological testing, and advanced statistical analysis. Programmatically, the K02 will be of critical value in moving her into a new line of interdisciplinary research on prevention and intervention of behavior problems by giving her time to develop a nutritional intervention for preventing and treating behavior problems in lead-exposed children. This research program consequently has the potential to help redefine what level of lead exposure is safe, identify hitherto unknown mechanisms of action, and reduce childhood behavior problems throughout the community.

Public Health Relevance

Understanding the neurobiological basis of lead exposure on children's externalizing behavior will be significant to future attempts to tackle two important global public health issues: lead exposure and children externalizing behavior, ultimately helping to improve the quality life of the individual and the family unit.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research (K02)
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Environmental Health Sciences Review Committee (EHS)
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Shreffler, Carol K
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University of Pennsylvania
Other Health Professions
Schools of Nursing
United States
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Ye, Tianpeng; Cui, Naixue; Yang, Wen et al. (2018) Evaluation of the Factor Structure of the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire in Chinese Adolescents. Psychol Rep :33294118792686
Cui, Naixue; Deatrick, Janet A; Liu, Jianghong (2018) Maternal and paternal physical abuse: Unique and joint associations with child behavioral problems. Child Abuse Negl 76:524-532
Ji, Xiaopeng; Li, Junxin; Liu, Jianghong (2018) The Relationship Between Midday Napping And Neurocognitive Function in Early Adolescents. Behav Sleep Med :1-15
Liu, Jianghong; Raine, Adrian (2017) Nutritional status and social behavior in preschool children: the mediating effects of neurocognitive functioning. Matern Child Nutr 13:
Ji, Xiaopeng; Grandner, Michael A; Liu, Jianghong (2017) The relationship between micronutrient status and sleep patterns: a systematic review. Public Health Nutr 20:687-701
Liu, Jianghong; Cui, Ying; Li, Linda et al. (2017) The mediating role of sleep in the fish consumption - cognitive functioning relationship: a cohort study. Sci Rep 7:17961
Ji, Xiaopeng; Cui, Naixue; Liu, Jianghong (2017) Neurocognitive Function Is Associated With Serum Iron Status in Early Adolescents. Biol Res Nurs 19:269-277
Cui, Naixue; Liu, Jianghong (2016) Cognitive and behavioral risk factors for child physical abuse among Chinese children: a multiple-informant study. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health 10:36
Liu, Jianghong; Ulrich, Connie (2016) Mediation analysis in nursing research: a methodological review. Contemp Nurse 52:643-656
Su, Jianhua; Cui, Naixue; Zhou, Guoping et al. (2016) Hemoglobin Status and Externalizing Behavioral Problems in Children. Int J Environ Res Public Health 13:

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