The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Social Network Analysis of Puberty, Activity Behaviors, and Health Disparities

Date Funded: 
May 14, 2018
Funding Organization: 
National Institutes of Health

Dr. Genevieve Chandler, Associate Professor in the College of Nursing, will serve as Co-Investigator on this R21 grant, alongside Principal Investigators Dr. Mark Pachucki, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at UMass Amherst, and Dr. Lindsay Hoyt of the Department of Applied Developmental Psychology at Fordham University.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate how key social (friendship networks), biological (pubertal development), and behavioral (physical activity, screen time, sleep) factors predict cardiometabolic risk, and race/ethnicity and gender disparities in risk, from adolescence to young adulthood. Unique, high-quality nationally-representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health will be analyzed using stochastic actor-based social network and regression models to estimate interactive effects of social (friend) and biological (pubertal) influences on adolescent activity behaviors and future adult behaviors and cardiometabolic risk measured by objective biomarkers.

Dr. Chandler is a nurse scientist with expertise in intervention research and a wealth of experience conducting resilience research with vulnerable youth. She will assist with interpreting results with an eye towards implementing and evaluating a nurse-led school based resilience intervention based on the findings. Her own research with designing and implementing psycho-educational interventions will assist the Principal Investigators in designing a culturally appropriate intervention for the study population.