GradImpact: Identifying Sources of Stress in Children

    As a doctoral candidate in environmental epidemiology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, Amy Schultz studies the effects environmental factors have on our health. She is currently a leading research assistant on the CREATE: Cumulative Risks, Early Development, and Emerging Academic Trajectories project, which studies how children develop in their environments and seeks to identify sources of stress in preschool-aged children.


    CREATE, a research study conducted by the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW), uses a Language Environment Analysis (LENA) device that measures the number of words spoken between the parent and child to learn more about the child’s role in conversation. In addition, data that measure air quality, noise levels, and stress hormones are collected. While this particular study is small, researchers hope that it will establish the feasibility of conducting larger studies to better understand how children’s environments affect their learning and development. More information about how noise, air quality, and other environmental factors affect children’s health and development will help experts determine whether to develop interventions.


    In developing the protocol for CREATE, Schultz took on a lot of responsibility, including training staff members and managing large amounts of data. “I learned a lot about how to efficiently train and prepare for going in the field, and then also I’ve learned how to be flexible and adapt, to be open to trial and error,” Shultz said. To learn more about Amy’s work visit the University of Wisconsin—Madison website.


    Visit the GradImpact Feature Gallery to learn more about the amazing, innovative research being done by graduate students and alumni across the world.

    The CGS GRADIMPACT project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our WEBSITE for more information.


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