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Photo of Dr. Laurie GoldDr. Laurie Gold (Kinesiology) received new funding from UNC Chapel Hill for the project “Pathways from Childhood Self-Regulation to Cardiovascular Risk.” Cardiovascular risk factors (CVR) — including obesity, elevated lipids, altered glucose metabolism, hypertension, and elevated low-grade inflammation — are detectable and already common during adolescence. However, the developmental origins of adolescent CVR are poorly understood. Research on adults suggests that CVR is concentrated among those who had poor self-regulation in childhood, including difficulties in regulating their behaviors (e.g., impulsivity), emotions (e.g., negative emotion), and/or physiology (e.g., heart rate variability) during situations of challenge. This project will test whether trajectories of self-regulation extending from ages to 2 to 10 predict trajectories of CVR during adolescence (ages 16, 17, 18). It will also test whether childhood self-regulation / adolescent CVR pathways are mediated by health behaviors (e.g., substance use, exercise, nutrition, and sleep).

 
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