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 Study Overview

Your Child, Your Community, Your Country, Children Everywhere

The National Children's Study will examine the effects of the environment, as broadly defined to include factors such as air, water, diet, sound, family dynamics, community and cultural influences, and genetics on the growth, development, and health of children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21 years. The goal of the Study is to improve the health and well-being of children and contribute to understanding the role various factors have on health and disease. Findings from the Study will be made available as the research progresses, making potential benefits known to the public as soon as possible.

Data from the Study may inform research into many conditions such as, but not limited to, birth defects and pregnancy-related problems; injuries; asthma; obesity; diabetes; and behavior, learning, and mental health disorders. Findings from the Study will benefit all Americans by providing researchers, health care providers, and public health officials with information from which to develop prevention strategies and health and safety guidelines, as well as to guide future research.

Researchers will analyze how environmental factors interact with each other and what helpful and/or harmful effects they might have on the health of children and ultimately adults. The Study analysis will focus on the differences that exist between various groups of people across the country, in terms of their health care access, disease occurrence, and other issues, so that these differences or disparities can be addressed.

There are two related phases of the National Children's Study: the Vanguard Study and the Main Study. The Vanguard Study's purpose is to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and cost of recruitment strategies, as well as Study procedures and outcome assessments that are to be used in the Main Study. The Vanguard Study Overview provides a summary of the three recruitment strategies tested and evaluated for the pilot Study. The Main Study will focus on exposure outcome relationships with a data driven, evidence-based approach. For more details on the Study's phases, see Study Design.

The National Children's Study will be one of the most comprehensive research efforts, and the largest and most detailed study in history focused on children's health and development in the United States. For more information about the National Children's Study, see the following resources: