Yale School of Nursing (YSN) Associate Professor Jacquelyn Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, RN, FAAN, and Yale School of Medicine (YSM) Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the department's Psychology Section, Cindy Crusto, PhD, have been awarded a grant by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). The study titled, “Intergenerational Impact of Genetic and Psychological Factors on Blood Pressure” will study the combined association of genomic, epigenomic, and psychological environmental effects on blood pressure among African American women and young children.
“We are honored and eager to begin this study,” commented Taylor. “It is our hope that the results from this study will provide critical insights into the development of more personalized interventions for reducing hypertension health disparities among African American mothers and children.”
The grant will analyze genetic, epigenetic and psychological environmental factors (such as racism, discrimination, depression, and parenting behaviors) on the health of African American mothers and their children ages three to five years. The goal is to delineate the psychobiological mechanisms through which African American mothers’ perceived racial discrimination, mental health, and parenting behavior affect their own and their young children’s blood pressure over time.
“Our project supports NINR’s mission ‘to promote and improve the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations’ by conducting basic research on the health and illness of women and young children.” Both Taylor and Crusto are passionate that their findings can contribute to developing interventions that address genetic and psychological factors to reduce the risks for hypertension.
This 5-year longitudinal study will recruit two hundred and fifty African American mother and child dyads (N=500) and will follow-up with these families every 6 months. Drs. Taylor and Crusto seek to address this epidemic for the most vulnerable of populations, and will partner with early care and education settings that serve children and their families who may lack needed resources and face stressors that impact their health and well-being.