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Special Issue "Child and Adolescent Health in a Life-Course Perspective"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Julia Dratva
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Basel, Winterthur, Switzerland
Interests: child and adolescent health; child mental health; child and adolescent health monitoring; early life factors of health (including early nutrition, tobacco exposure); health literacy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on Child and Adolescent Health in a Life-Course Perspective in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The venue is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

The relevance of a life-course perspective on health and disease has become widely accepted in research and has recently found its way into policy. The approach is supported by both sociological and biomedical theories and evidence. Common to both sociological and biomedical theories is the exposure to environmental factors at the time of conception, in utero or in early life. The environment encompasses sociocultural, economic, and political, as well as the physical environment people are exposed to. The potential of a life-course perspective to health and disease lies in the potential of early prevention and health promotion, underlining the high impact it can have for public health, as well as in an increased understanding of pathways to disease and of intra- and transgenerational factors of health, providing a basis for personalized as well as public health benefit.

This Special Issue is open to any research addressing a life-course perspective to child and adolescent public health, both from a sociological as well as biomedical point of view or a combination of both and other theoretical concepts supporting the life-course perspective.

The following key words are only a selection of possible topics.

Prof. Dr. Julia Dratva
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Early life (risk) factors
  • Life course
  • Child and adolescent health
  • Public health
  • Intergenerational
  • Transgenerational
  • Maternal factors
  • Paternal factors
  • Vulnerability
  • Resilience
  • Environment

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Prenatal Maternal Cortisol Levels and Infant Birth Weight in a Predominately Low-Income Hispanic Cohort
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6896; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186896 - 21 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1193
Abstract
Infant birth weight influences numerous health outcomes throughout the life course including childhood obesity and metabolic morbidities. Maternal experience of stress, both before and during pregnancy, has been hypothesized to influence fetal growth and birth outcomes. However, these associations currently are not fully [...] Read more.
Infant birth weight influences numerous health outcomes throughout the life course including childhood obesity and metabolic morbidities. Maternal experience of stress, both before and during pregnancy, has been hypothesized to influence fetal growth and birth outcomes. However, these associations currently are not fully understood, due to conflicting results in the published literature. Salivary cortisol is often used as a biological biomarker to assess the diurnal pattern of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA-axis) functioning. Cortisol metrics include both the total cortisol concentration secreted during waking hours, reflected by the area under the curve (AUC), and cortisol dynamics, which include the diurnal cortisol slope (DCS) and the cortisol awakening response (CAR). This study examined the association of these cortisol metrics measured during the third trimester of pregnancy and infant birth weight among 240 mother-infant dyads participating in the Maternal and Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors (MADRES) pregnancy cohort study, which is predominately comprised of Hispanic low-income women. There were no significant associations with the maternal biological stress response and infant birth weight in this study. More research is needed in larger studies to better understand how the biological stress response influences birth weight in populations facing health disparities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child and Adolescent Health in a Life-Course Perspective)
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Article
A Focus Group Interview Study of the Experience of Stress amongst School-Aged Children in Sweden
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4021; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114021 - 05 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1871
Abstract
The study explored experiences of stress in children aged 10–12. An inductive qualitative design was used. Ten focus group interviews were conducted with Swedish schoolchildren (n = 42) aged 10–12. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. [...] Read more.
The study explored experiences of stress in children aged 10–12. An inductive qualitative design was used. Ten focus group interviews were conducted with Swedish schoolchildren (n = 42) aged 10–12. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The study identified one theme—“Body and mind react”—and three subthemes: (1) Friendships matters, (2) Parental stress affect, and (3) Trying to do my best. Stress often occurred in the children’s everyday environment. The children had experienced how stress could be expressed both physically and mentally, inside and outside school. The children also had the experience of seeing people in their environment being stressed, which could create feelings that affected the children. The experience of the children was also that stress can sometimes be good. Stress related to peers, family, school, and society was commonly experienced by children aged 10–12. Both positive and negative stress was reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child and Adolescent Health in a Life-Course Perspective)
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Article
Epigenome-Wide Association Study Reveals Duration of Breastfeeding Is Associated with Epigenetic Differences in Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3569; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103569 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1398
Abstract
Several small studies have shown associations between breastfeeding and genome-wide DNA methylation (DNAm). We performed a comprehensive Epigenome-Wide Association Study (EWAS) to identify associations between breastfeeding and DNAm patterns in childhood. We analysed DNAm data from the Isle of Wight Birth Cohort at [...] Read more.
Several small studies have shown associations between breastfeeding and genome-wide DNA methylation (DNAm). We performed a comprehensive Epigenome-Wide Association Study (EWAS) to identify associations between breastfeeding and DNAm patterns in childhood. We analysed DNAm data from the Isle of Wight Birth Cohort at birth, 10, 18 and 26 years. The feeding method was categorized as breastfeeding duration >3 months and >6 months, and exclusive breastfeeding duration >3 months. EWASs using robust linear regression were performed to identify differentially methylated positions (DMPs) in breastfed and non-breastfed children at age 10 (false discovery rate of 5%). Differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were identified using comb-p. The persistence of significant associations was evaluated in neonates and individuals at 18 and 26 years. Two DMPs, in genes SNX25 and LINC00840, were significantly associated with breastfeeding duration >6 months at 10 years and was replicated for >3 months of exclusive breastfeeding. Additionally, a significant DMR spanning the gene FDFT1 was identified in 10-year-old children who were exposed to a breastfeeding duration >3 months. None of these signals persisted to 18 or 26 years. This study lends further support for a suggestive role of DNAm in the known benefits of breastfeeding on a child’s future health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child and Adolescent Health in a Life-Course Perspective)
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Article
Congenital Zika Syndrome—Assessing the Need for a Family Support Programme in Brazil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3559; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103559 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1285
Abstract
The Zika outbreak in Brazil caused congenital impairments and developmental delays, or Congenital Zika Syndrome (CZS). We sought to ascertain whether a family support programme was needed and, if so, could be adapted from the Getting to Know Cerebral Palsy programme (GTKCP) designed [...] Read more.
The Zika outbreak in Brazil caused congenital impairments and developmental delays, or Congenital Zika Syndrome (CZS). We sought to ascertain whether a family support programme was needed and, if so, could be adapted from the Getting to Know Cerebral Palsy programme (GTKCP) designed for children with cerebral palsy (CP). We conducted a systematic review of the needs of families of children with CZS or CP in low- and middle-income countries and reviewed the findings of the Social and Economic Impact of Zika study. We undertook a scoping visit to three facilities offering services to children with CZS in Brazil to understand potential utility and adaptability of GTKCP. The literature review showed that caregivers of children with CZS experience challenges in mental health, healthcare access, and quality of life, consistent with the CP literature. The scoping visits demonstrated that most support provided to families was medically orientated and while informal support networks were established, these lacked structure. Caregivers and practitioners expressed an eagerness for more structure community-based family support programmes. A support programme for families of children with CZS in Brazil appeared relevant and needed, and may fill an important gap in the Zika response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child and Adolescent Health in a Life-Course Perspective)
Article
Association between Childhood Suicidal Ideation and Geriatric Depression in Japan: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2257; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072257 - 27 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1010
Abstract
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are assumed to increase the risk of depression in late life via development of poor mental health conditions; however, the association between mental distress in childhood and geriatric depression has not been directly examined. This study examined the association [...] Read more.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are assumed to increase the risk of depression in late life via development of poor mental health conditions; however, the association between mental distress in childhood and geriatric depression has not been directly examined. This study examined the association between childhood suicidal ideation and geriatric depression, using population-based, cross-sectional survey data from 1140 community-dwelling, functionally independent older adults in Wakuya City, Japan. We assessed childhood suicidal ideation by asking the participants whether they had seriously considered attempting suicide before the age of 18, together with geriatric depression, using the Japanese version of the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale. Poisson regression was applied to adjust for potential confounders and mediators. In total, 6.1% of the participants reported childhood suicidal ideation. After adjustment for sex, age, personality attributes and ACEs, childhood suicidal ideation was positively associated with geriatric depression prevalence ratio [PR]: 1.40, 95% Confidence Interval (95%CI): 1.04–1.88). The increased PR of geriatric depression remained significant, even after further adjustment for adulthood socio-economic status, recent life stressors and current health status (PR: 1.38, 95%CI: 1.02–1.88). Further prospective studies are warranted, but efforts to deliver mental health services to children with suicidal ideation potentially diminish the highly prevalent geriatric depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child and Adolescent Health in a Life-Course Perspective)

Review

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Review
Linear Growth in Children and Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3677; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193677 - 30 Sep 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1402
Abstract
Ensuring normal linear growth is one of the major therapeutic aims in the management of type one diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in children and adolescents. Many studies in the literature have shown that pediatric patients with T1DM frequently present some abnormalities in their growth [...] Read more.
Ensuring normal linear growth is one of the major therapeutic aims in the management of type one diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in children and adolescents. Many studies in the literature have shown that pediatric patients with T1DM frequently present some abnormalities in their growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) axis compared to their healthy peers. Data on the growth of T1DM children and adolescents are still discordant: Some studies have reported that T1DM populations, especially those whose diabetes began in early childhood, are taller than healthy pediatric populations at diagnosis, while other studies have not found any difference. Moreover, many reports have highlighted a growth impairment in T1DM patients of prepubertal and pubertal age, and this impairment seems to be influenced by suboptimal glycemic control and disease duration. However, the most recent data showed that children treated with modern intensive insulin therapies reach a normal final adult height. This narrative review aims to provide current knowledge regarding linear growth in children and adolescents with T1DM. Currently, the choice of the most appropriate therapeutic regimen to achieve a good insulin level and the best metabolic control for each patient, together with the regular measurement of growth parameters, remains the most important available tool for a pediatric diabetologist. Nevertheless, since new technologies are the therapy of choice in young children, especially those of pre-school age, it would be of great interest to evaluate their effects on the growth pattern of children with T1DM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child and Adolescent Health in a Life-Course Perspective)
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