The Healthy Passages research project functions as a collaborative partnership between three Prevention Research Centers (UCLA/RAND, University of Texas-Houston, and University of Alabama, Birmingham) and the CDC. In 1999, the three sites were initially funded by the CDC through cooperative agreements to develop Healthy Passages, a three-site longitudinal study to provide an empirical basis for effective policies and interventions to promote and maintain the health and well being of adolescents and adults. Healthy Passages employs a multilevel protocol to assess biological, family, peer, school, and neighborhood/community influences to determine how best to maintain the optimum health of youth. The overarching objective of Healthy Passages is to provide an empirical basis for effective policies and intervention programs to promote the health and optimal development of adolescents and adults. The study has two major goals. The first goal is the characterization of developmental trajectories (i.e., the patterns of intra-individual change across time) and the relative contribution of important multilevel risk and protective factors (e.g., family, peers, school, and community) on health behaviors (e.g., dietary practices, physical activity, tobacco use). Social policy implications based on such an approach may, for example, yield more cost-effective and encompassing interventions that target multiple health behaviors and their outcomes. The second goal is the elucidation of multilevel risk and protective factors that contribute to disparities in health, educational, and social outcomes by race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status (Levanthal, 2000;Lowry, 1996;Starfield, 2002). To accomplish the goals of Healthy Passages, we enrolled two successive cohorts of fifth grade students in Birmingham, Houston, and Los Angeles. Data collection for Wave 1 (fifth grade) and Wave 2 (seventh grade) has been completed for both cohorts. Interviewing for Wave 3 (tenth grade), cohort 1 began in January 2010 and will be completed by August 2010. We are currently seeking funding to continue Healthy Passages in the Birmingham site for five more years from September 2010 to September 2015. The next five years of the project will be devoted to implementation of the Wave 3 (10th grade), Wave 4 (12th grade), and Wave 5 (one year post-high school) data collection;tracking of enrolled study participants to maintain up-to-date contact information between survey waves;continued scientific oversight, program management, and community collaboration;cleaning, preparing and managing data files;computing variables and running statistical analyses;analyzing data, writing papers, and preparing presentations;and measurement development and planning for Waves 4 - 5 and beyond.

Public Health Relevance

Prevalent chronic diseases across the lifespan such as cardiovascular disease and cancer have their origins in behaviors established during late childhood and adolescence. Previously, little research had been done to identify and trace the multiple influences during the pre-adolescent period or to examine the importance of racial and ethnic differences in the way these behaviors develop. The fundamental purpose of Healthy Passages is to identify and increase our understanding of early determinants related to health outcomes so we are better able to develop interventions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Chronic Disease Prev and Health Promo (NCCDPHP)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDP1-MED (03))
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Taylor, Marcia
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University of Alabama Birmingham
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Cabral, Patricia; Wallander, Jan L; Song, Anna V et al. (2017) Generational status and social factors predicting initiation of partnered sexual activity among Latino/a youth. Health Psychol 36:169-178
Coker, Tumaini R; Elliott, Marc N; Toomey, Sara L et al. (2016) Racial and Ethnic Disparities in ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment. Pediatrics 138:
Ladapo, Joseph A; Elliott, Marc N; Kanouse, David E et al. (2016) Firearm Ownership and Acquisition Among Parents With Risk Factors for Self-Harm or Other Violence. Acad Pediatr 16:742-749
Toomey, Sara L; Elliott, Marc N; Schwebel, David C et al. (2016) Relationship Between Adolescent Report of Patient-Centered Care and of Quality of Primary Care. Acad Pediatr 16:770-776
Dudovitz, Rebecca N; Chung, Paul J; Elliott, Marc N et al. (2015) Relationship of Age for Grade and Pubertal Stage to Early Initiation of Substance Use. Prev Chronic Dis 12:E203
Scott, Sarah M; Wallander, Jan L; Depaoli, Sarah et al. (2015) Gender role orientation is associated with health-related quality of life differently among African-American, Hispanic, and White youth. Qual Life Res 24:2139-49
Schuster, Mark A; Bogart, Laura M; Elliott, Marc N et al. (2015) A longitudinal study of bullying of sexual-minority youth. N Engl J Med 372:1872-4
Fradkin, Chris; Wallander, Jan L; Elliott, Marc N et al. (2015) Associations between socioeconomic status and obesity in diverse, young adolescents: variation across race/ethnicity and gender. Health Psychol 34:1-9
Wiesner, Margit; Windle, Michael; Kanouse, David E et al. (2015) DISC Predictive Scales (DPS): Factor structure and uniform differential item functioning across gender and three racial/ethnic groups for ADHD, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder symptoms. Psychol Assess 27:1324-36
Coker, Tumaini R; Elliott, Marc N; Schwebel, David C et al. (2015) Media violence exposure and physical aggression in fifth-grade children. Acad Pediatr 15:82-8

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