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Well-Being Across the Lifespan

Well-Being Across the Lifespan: Early Childhood Experience and Opportunities in Oklahoma

Oklahoma leads the nation in poor outcomes across many indicators of child adversity, making the state a natural laboratory to identify and improve factors shaping children’s development and adult functioning. Our transdisciplinary research team is tackling these grand challenges, comprised of representatives from academic and professional fields including criminology, sociology, psychology, early childhood education, nutrition, occupational and environmental health, pediatrics and emergency medicine, regional and city planning, geography, data science and political science. Our team will investigate adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), food and child-care deserts, criminal justice contact, social isolation, mental illness, substance abuse disorders, and early mortality across Oklahoma with the goal of developing practice and policy solutions. Using multimodal, large-scale, cross-sector data collection, our research investigates the opportunity gap experienced by the young children of low income, rural, and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) populations, which perpetuates generational patterns of diminished well-being. Findings from this work will identify and eventually test promising policy and intervention efforts for communities and the state of Oklahoma that can serve as a model for the nation.