We propose to conduct an in-depth, five-year, ethnographic study of rural communities and families, infants, and children embedded within them. Our ethnographic study comprises two components. The first is a community ethnography involving in-depth contextual appraisals of community characteristics hypothesized to affect families' and children's lives. These appraisals will be conducted for a period of five years in selected communities and at the county level in the program project's six focal localities--Blair, Cambria, and Huntington counties in Pennsylvania; and Wilson, Wayne, and Sampson counties in North Carolina. The second component is a family ethnography involving intensive interviews and participant observation with 72 families distributed equally across the six counties. Our sample of families will mirror those involved in the program project core in terms of poverty status, locality and race/ethnicity, with the exception that we will purposively recruit expectant mothers and their families, 33% of whom also have children age 2-4. We will follow the sample intensively for five years. By employing this design, the ethnography will gather data on target infants while simultaneously generating insights on a subsample of toddler and preschool siblings. In doing so, the ethnography maintains a subsample of children that will be developmentally ahead"""""""" of the target children involved in the program project core, better enabling the core to use the ethnographic data to inform the conceptual models and the selection of measures they plan to use in evaluating the core sample of children through their preschool years. Our conceptual and methodological approaches for the proposed ethnography are embedded in the model """"""""Structured Discovery."""""""" Structured discovery is a highly successful set of strategies that we developed and are using to conduct a large interdisciplinary, multi-investigator, multi-site ethnographic study of poor and welfare-dependent urban families--Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three-City Study.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
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Gatzke-Kopp, Lisa M; Ram, Nilam; Lydon-Staley, David M et al. (2018) Children's Sensitivity to Cost and Reward in Decision Making Across Distinct Domains of Probability, Effort, and Delay. J Behav Decis Mak 31:12-24
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Zvara, B J; Mills-Koonce, R; Cox, M (2017) Maternal Childhood Sexual Trauma, Child Directed Aggression, Parenting Behavior, and the Moderating Role of Child Sex. J Fam Violence 32:219-229

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