About Us

Child Development Unit

Child Development Research

The role of parenting and parent-child interactions on developmental and health outcomes in “at-risk” families is the focus of research with the Child Development Unit. Recent work focuses on parenting and parent health literacy within the context of primary care pediatrics.

National Children's Study

(NCS Study Center, Jefferson County, KY)

In September 2008 the University of Louisville was awarded a contract to serve as a Study Center for the Jefferson County, Kentucky study location for the National Children's Study. This project is a collaborative effort between the School of Public Health and Information Sciences (SPHIS), the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine, the Urban Studies Institute and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and the National Opinion Research Center (NORC). Dr. David Tollerud (SPHIS) is the PI for the Center and Dr. Davis (Department of Pediatrics) is the co-PI.

The National Children's Study will examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of 100,000 children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21. The goal of the study is to improve the health and well-being of children.

Louisville Twin Study

For over 40 years, the primary focus of the Child Development Unit was the nationally renowned Louisville Twin Study. The Louisville Twin Study was closed for several years but efforts are underway to restore the project. Current efforts include using newer technologies to examine existing data and collecting new data about the health of individuals who previously participated in the project. This rich set of data continues to be important for understanding genetic and environmental influences on developmental processes and outcomes. In addition, the new data collection will allow researchers to examine the genetic and environmental influences on a variety of adult health outcomes and to identify childhood predictors of later outcomes.