Our Research

The CAMP Lab is passionate about the health and well-being of infants, children, parents, and families and our research reflects that! Broadly, our research examines the intergenerational effects that early childhood adversity has on parental and infant health and well-being, with specific expertise in reproductive and maternal mental health, pregnancy and birth outcomes, infant and early child development and adjustment, and parenting. Our work is multidisciplinary and collaborative, and would not be possible without the support of our partners and collaborators. To learn more about our research and collaborations, you can find CAMP Lab publications here.

HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD)

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We are fortunate to be part of the HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) Study national consortium as one of 25 national sites funded through the NIH HEAL Initiative®. The goal of HBCD is to better understand brain development from pregnancy through early childhood, in relation to exposure to substances and other environmental, social, and biological factors. This research is supported through 10/24 Healthy Brain and Child Development National Consortium, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1U01DA055349. Learn more here.

Highlights

  • HBCD is getting ready to start recruiting our first participants. To learn more about HBCD or if you’re interested in participating, click here

  • Data from our HBCD planning grant (1R34DA050343-01) helped to identify important factors related to recruiting, enrolling, and retaining high-risk pregnant and postpartum women. You can read more about this work here

Intergenerational Effects on Child Health & Development

The CAMP Lab is fortunate to be part of the Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Adversity (CIRCA), a federally funded CoBRE supporting research infrastructure in Oklahoma in partnership with the OSU Center for Health Sciences, the Hardesty Center for Clinical Research and Neuroscience, and the OU Integrative Immunology Center. CIRCA funds interdisciplinary and integrative research on the effects of childhood adversity on that can help inform the development of more effective and sustainable prevention and intervention strategies to interrupt the cycle of generational trauma and toxic stress. CIRCA was funded for an additional 5 years as a Phase 2 CoBRE through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), P20GM109097. Read more here

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EMBRACE

As a CIRCA Phase 2 Research Project Leader (RPL), Dr. Ciciolla and the CAMP Lab are working on the Epigenetics of Mother-Baby Reactivity and Childhood Experiences (EMBRACE) study. This study examines stress-related biological pathways during pregnancy and postpartum to better understand the intergenerational impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and adult attachment patterns on stress reactivity in early infancy. This project aims to understand how genes, experiences, and development are linked to lifelong outcomes and intergenerational health.

 

SLMBR

Sleep & Mother Baby Regulation (SLMBR) was our CIRCA-funded pilot study funded through the Phase 1 CoBRE. Data collected through SLMBR helped us better understand how harmful childhood experiences and problems sleeping during pregnancy affect women’s physical and emotional health, as well as babies’ development and how well babies sleep.

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HATCH

The CAMP Lab collaborated with Dr. Karina Shreffler on the Holistic Assessment of Tulsa’s Children’s Health (HATCH) project funded through the CIRCA Phase 1 CoBRE. The HATCH study examined how harmful childhood experiences affected perinatal outcomes and maternal and infant health during the first 18 months postpartum (learn more). 

DADIO

The CAMP Lab collaborated with Dr. Jennifer Byrd-Craven on the Dads and Development of Infants in Oklahoma (DADIO) project ,

 funded as a pilot project through the CIRCA Phase 1 CoBRE. DADIO sought to understand how different caregivers, particularly fathers, influence infant development, and how different physiological profiles (stress hormone levels) among family members are related to infant development.

Highlights

  • Findings from the CIRCA Phase 1 SLMBR pilot project suggest maternal ACEs and sleep problems during pregnancy have long-term implications for infant negative reactivity. To read more about these findings, click here

  • Data collected from the HATCH project showed that women with severe exposure to ACEs were four times more likely to report at least one adverse infant outcome. To read more about this study and the results, click here.

Risk & Resilience Associated with Pregnancy & Motherhood

Our work in this area focuses on uncovering factors that help women and pregnant people negotiate the critically important role of motherhood/parenthood, as well as accumulating knowledge to inform the development of new tools and interventions to support the well-being of mothers from diverse backgrounds. You can learn more about our work on this topic in collaboration with Dr. Suniya Luthar here

Part of this effort includes developing a brief, evidence-based, and comprehensive Perinatal Mental Illness Screening Tool (PMIST) for use during pregnancy and postpartum to identify mental health symptoms across the range of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs).

Screening is crucial to the early identification and treatment of perinatal mental illness, and in turn, the promotion of family health and resilience. This research was supported by the OSU Center for Family Resilience. We are currently recruiting volunteers 18 years and older who are pregnant or have recently had a baby within the last year! Learn More

In collaboration with Dr. Karina Shreffler and Dr. Julie Croff, and supported by CIRCA and OCAST (PI: Shreffler), the BLOOM study aims to better understand the bonding process during pregnancy and determine whether the BLOOM intervention designed by Dr. Ciciolla can enhance maternal-fetal bonding and improve physical and emotional health outcomes for mothers and their babies. For more information on the study and how to participate, click here

Highlights

  • Findings from this line of work revealed that resilience during pregnancy influenced the relationship between early life experiences and pregnancy specific stress. To learn more about these findings, click here.

  • Data from a study examining invisible household labor found that the distribution of the mental and emotional labor between spouses that is related to managing the household may be linked to women’s well-being, satisfaction of life, partner satisfaction, feelings of emptiness, and experiencing role overload. Read More

  • Findings from BLOOM, showed that mothers who participated in a mindfulness-based pilot intervention reported a significant increase in maternal-fetal attachment. Read more about these findings here

Childhood Risk & Resilience and Outcomes in Early Adulthood

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This area of research explores the relationship between stressful events during childhood and health and well-being outcomes during adulthood. We have ongoing collaborations focused on understanding how childhood risk and protective factors affect functioning in adulthood, including work with Dr. Suniya Luthar and Dr. Misty Hawkins.  Learn more about our research on youth in high-achieving schools with Dr. Luthar here.

Highlights

  • Research found that among youth from high-achieving schools, ACEs were associated with both increased internalizing and externalizing symptoms in adolescence, and psychiatric diagnoses in adulthood. Click here to read more. 

  • Findings from a study examining the ACEs and cognitive function revealed higher ACEs, especially deprivation-type, are linked to poorer memory and cognitive function. To learn more about these results, click here