Understanding Development across the Lifecourse
Ongoing follow up of the All Our Families cohort is an exceptional opportunity for lifecourse investigation of the relationship between prenatal events and child development, taking into account many factors that influence child and family well-being (e.g. parental education, mental health, lifestyle, child care, use of community services and availability of health services, etc.). This follow up will help us better understand how children grow and develop in our communities. Information from this cohort will allow for both ‘snapshot’ and lifecourse understanding of contemporary families. This information can help us identify where, and for whom, programs and services may be most beneficial. This opportunity is particularly critical given public and political pressure to better understand the factors that affect the health of individuals and communities. Indeed, recommendations from national leaders including Drs. Clyde Hertzman (BC Human Early Learning Program, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research) and Gilles Paradis (Scientific Editor of the Canadian Journal of Public Health) have indicated that lifecourse study is essential to monitor normal developmental trajectories with person specific data using direct measures such as can be obtained from routine surveillance and questionnaires.
• To use information from analysis of the All our Families cohort data to inform policy, programs and practice to improve the health and well being of families and communities in Alberta;
• To contribute to the understanding of the complex relationships between the prenatal period and human development, accounting for the influence of genes, lifestyle, social and physical environment and human services; and
• To develop the capacity of researchers to use and interpret complex longitudinal data for an improved understanding of factors that influence the health of individuals and communities.