Health and well-being

Objectives and goals

  • To inform the development of community-based Extension programs that promote health and well-being among low-income families, with particular focus on rural families and Latino immigrant families.
  • he goal is to use biomarkers to point to what really matters: the child’s family and social environment.The overarching model is that biomarkers will adapt to meet the demands of the environment, but that process of adaptation isnot necessarily desirable from a public health perspective.
  • Examine the impact of individual and environmental factors on such outcomes as depression, drug use, and criminal behavior of the parents and the children.
  • To lesson and prevent interpersonal violence, aggression,and family conflict

Area faculty interests

Kimberly Greder, family well-being, family health, rural, low-income, immigrant, food security, mental health, social support, community-based, and intervention.

Daniel Russell, African-American families, neighborhood factors, depression, and drug and alcohol use.

Elizabeth Shirtcliff, saliva, puberty, hair sex hormones, biomarkers, real-time cortisol, biobehavioral health, and adolescent brain development.

Carl Weems, post-traumatic stress, adverse childhood experience, brain development, interventions, emotional development, and prevention.

Amie Zarling, treatment of domestic violence, evidence-based interventions, and batterers intervention programs.

Amy Popillion,

Related laboratories, programs, centers

Research opportunities

  • This research takes place in Iowa communities, and rural communities throughout the U.S. While some projects in which I am involved use secondary data sets, my research predominantly involves primary data collection from families (adults and youth) or community organizations.
  • This research focuses on understanding successful emotional development using contextual (family, community),bio-behavioral(psychophysiological, neuroendocrine, neuroanatomical), and cognitive-developmental (memory, judgement) models. Current projects are aimed at predicting emotional dysfunction versus and resiliency following severe and traumatic stress and a wide range of translational intervention and prevention programs.
  • use advanced methodological and statistical techniques to inform the basic science of emotional development and translate that science into prevention, intervention, and other real-world applications.
  • This research focuses on biobehavioral mechanisms that illustrate the profound impact of a child’s early environment on their physiology, well-being, health, and development. Researchers in my Stress Physiology Investigative Team (SPIT) Laboratory collect biomarkers noninvasively –using autonomic sensors, salivary biomarkers or novel assays in hair. This research is developmental, focused on adolescence, specifically how the process of puberty is a critical for setting the stage for lifespan development.
  • 20 year longitudinal study of over 800 African-American families in Iowa & Georgia. Major focus is on how neighborhood characteristics affect the health and well-being of the parents and children
  • The overall focus of this research is to develop, test, and disseminate evidence-based interventions for the treatment and prevention of intimate partner violence/family violence/domestic violence.