Special Issue "Early Influences on Child Health and Wellbeing"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Children's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Genevieve Becker
Website
Guest Editor
B.E.S.T. (Breastfeeding Education Support and Training) Services, 2 Kylemore Park, Taylor’s Hill, Galway City H91T22T, Ireland
Interests: maternal, infant and young child feeding; assessment of quality of care; health policy and practice implementation; health worker education; health promotion
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Maria Noonan
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Interests: infant feeding; perinatal mental wellbeing; midwifery education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The period of pregnancy and the first two years of a child’s life (first 1000 days) encompass multiple factors that can influence the long-term health and economics for the individual child, their family, and the wider community. Many of these early life factors can be encouraged and supported as positive influences, or reduced and discouraged when they are negative influences. These factors may include nutrition of mother or child, birth practices, mental health of the parents, support systems, environment, family or broader economics, government policies, marketing of products and practices, employment, and use of time, among other factors.

We invite authors to submit original research papers or systematic review papers for the Special Issue entitled “Early Influences on Child Health and Wellbeing”. Our aim is to cover a wide range of topics and perspectives related to the first 1000 days, not only in the basic research domain, but also related to interventions for the promotion, support, and protection of health and wellbeing. Papers reporting on methodological aspects of research in this area will also be considered.

Dr. Genevieve Becker
Dr. Maria Noonan
Guest Editors

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 2000 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

  • Child development
  • Parental wellbeing
  • Health determinants
  • Healthcare workers
  • Nutrition
  • Early childhood
  • Infant
  • Perinatal

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
“They Just Need to Come Down a Little Bit to Your Level”: A Qualitative Study of Parents’ Views and Experiences of Early Life Interventions to Promote Healthy Growth and Associated Behaviours
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3605; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103605 - 21 May 2020
Abstract
The first 1000 days is a critical window of opportunity to promote healthy growth and associated behaviours. Health professionals can play an important role, in part due to the large number of routine contacts they have with parents. There is an absence of [...] Read more.
The first 1000 days is a critical window of opportunity to promote healthy growth and associated behaviours. Health professionals can play an important role, in part due to the large number of routine contacts they have with parents. There is an absence of research on the views of parents towards obesity prevention and the range of associated behaviours during this time period. This study aimed to elicit parents’ views on early life interventions to promote healthy growth/prevent childhood obesity, particularly those delivered by health professionals. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 29 parents (24 mothers, 5 fathers) who were resident in Ireland and had at least one child aged under 30 months. Data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Two central themes were generated: (1) navigating the uncertainty, stress, worries, and challenges of parenting whilst under scrutiny and (2) accessing support in the broader system. Parents would welcome support during this critical time period; particularly around feeding. Such support, however, needs to be practical, realistic, evidence-based, timely, accessible, multi-level, non-judgemental, and from trusted sources, including both health professionals and peers. Interventions to promote healthy growth and related behaviours need to be developed and implemented in a way that supports parents and their views and circumstances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Influences on Child Health and Wellbeing)
Open AccessArticle
Sensitivity of Nutrition Indicators to Measure the Impact of a Multi-Sectoral Intervention: Cross-Sectional, Household, and Individual Level Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3121; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093121 - 30 Apr 2020
Abstract
Interventions tackling multiple drivers of child malnutrition have potential, yet the evidence is limited and draws on different analysis and nutrition outcomes, reducing comparability. To better understand the advantages and disadvantages of three different analytical approaches on seven common nutrition indicators, we use [...] Read more.
Interventions tackling multiple drivers of child malnutrition have potential, yet the evidence is limited and draws on different analysis and nutrition outcomes, reducing comparability. To better understand the advantages and disadvantages of three different analytical approaches on seven common nutrition indicators, we use panel data (2012, 2014, 2015) on 1420 households from a randomized control study of a multi-sectoral intervention in Chad. We compare program impact using three types of analysis: a cross-sectional analysis of non-matched children; a panel analysis on longitudinal outcomes following the worst-off child in the household; and a panel analysis on longitudinal outcomes of matched children. We find that the sensitivity of the nutrition outcomes to program impact increases with each subsequent analytical approach, despite the reduction in sample size, as the analysis is able to control for more non-measured child and household characteristics. In the matched child panel analysis, the odds of a child being severely wasted were 76% lower (CI: 0.59–0.86, p = 0.001), the odds of being underweight were 33% lower (CI: 0.15–0.48, p = 0.012), and weight-for-height z-score was 0.19 standard deviations higher (CI: 0.09–0.28, p = 0.022) in the treatment versus control group. The study provides evidence for multi-sectoral interventions to tackle acute malnutrition and recommends the best practice analytical approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Influences on Child Health and Wellbeing)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Responsive Feeding – about more than obtaining nutrients
Authors: Genevieve Becker
Affiliation: BEST Services, Galway, Ireland

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