News & Announcements
Dr. Suzanne McDermott, a long-standing member of the RCCF who currently
serves on RCCF's Executive Committee, has landed a $28 million grant from CDC for a new Disability Research and Dissemination Center...
See link for full story on USC's main page
Congrats to Charlie Mactutus on his new funding of more than 1.5
million from NICHD for the project entitled "Maternal HIV:
Developmental Neurotoxicity". The project aims to
demonstrate the success of subtle and
early-detected cognitive and motor alterations in predicting the
progression of DA system dysfunction and identifying potential
clinically relevant neurotherapeutic options.
Suzanne McDermott, PhD will be the Principal Investigator and Joshua Mann, MD, MPH will be a Co-Investigator
both from the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the School of Medicine) on a new two year award
($397,903 per year) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The grant is a collaboration with MUSC,
SC DHEC, and partners in Colorado and Kansas. The overall aim of this project is to design and pilot test a
surveillance system for low prevalence and high impact congenital and inherited conditions using spina bifida (SB),
muscular dystrophy (MD), and fragile X syndrome (FXS) as three representative low prevalence, high impact conditions.
We will identify existing surveillance systems and sources of data and then implement both a passive and active system
in South Carolina and Colorado in Year 1, and add Kansas in Year 2 for this two-year project. The investigators are
members of the USC Research Consortium on Children and Families, and the impact of these conditions on families is
substantial. This study dovetails on another CDC funded study, that is currently in Year 2 of a 3 year award to the
same research team, about the transition from pediatric to adult care for adolescents with FXS, SB, and MD.
RCCF members team up...
Research Team -
Principal Investigator: Dr. Dana DeHart, Research Associate Professor, USC’s Center for Child & Family Studies
Co-PI: Dr. Cheri Shapiro, Research Associate Professor, USC’s Institute for Families in Society
Co-Investigator: Dr. Kathleen Hayes, Director, USC’s Institute for Families in Society
Funding Received -
$498,707 from the United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice
Project Overview -
Emerging research indicates that incarceration has costs beyond those for offenders and taxpayers. Rather,
effects of incarceration may spread to families and communities in ways that disrupt parent-child relationships,
alter networks of familial support, and increased burdens on governmental systems such as schools, juvenile justice,
mental health, economic services, and child welfare. Research is needed to understand the ways in which these
systems come together to address needs resulting from incarceration of a family member, the gaps in service, and
the ways in which services might be coordinated to attenuate the impact of incarceration on families and communities.
We propose a study using integrated administrative data from multiple agencies and qualitative interview data from
prisoners and their families to increase understanding of the impact of incarceration, how this impact is spread across
community systems, and implications for breaking down service silos to develop networked interventions across multiple
public and private agencies. The project addresses a critical gap in knowledge, and our findings will inform development
of more amenable contexts for re-entry and services to families and communities.
Congratulations to Dr. Suzi Baxter, Institute for Families in Society, for being recognized as the
2012 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year by the S.C. Dietetic Association at it's annual meeting in Charleston, S.C.
Education grant focuses on social impairment of children with
USC assistant professor of
Research Consortium for Children and Families member
thinks the disappointing results from social skills treatment
programs for ADHD children stem from a fundamental lack of
knowledge. She’s the principal investigator for a new $1.5 million
U.S. Department of Education grant aimed at better understanding the
relationship between ADHD symptoms and social and academic
Read full story:
Dr. Dana Dehart
Dr. DeHart has been invited to join the editorial board of the
Journal of Criminology. The Journal of Criminology is a
peer-reviewed community journal that publishes original research
articles in all areas of criminology. The journal, by the
nature of its collaborative editorial model, is deeply rooted in the
Dr. DeHarthas been invited to serve on the editorial board of the
Journal of Family Violence. The interdisciplinary journal has
an impact factor of 0.949 and publishes articles spanning clinical
and counseling psychology, sociology, psychiatry, public health,
criminology, law, marital counseling, and social work.
Editorial board members include research such as Ann Burgess, Donald
Dutton, Edward Gandolf, Kevin Hamberger, and Daniel O'Leary.
Dr. Arlene Andrews has been selected by the SC Governor's Office
to receive the 2012 USDHHS Administration on Children, Youth, and
Families Commissioner's Award.
This prestigious award honors one person from each state for making
an exceptional contribution to the prevention and treatment of child
abuse and neglect in his/her state. Dr. Andrews received her
award during the 18th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
in Washington SC on April 18, 2012.
Child research at USC hits record $18 million
Child research at USC hits record $18 million.
Faculty members in the campus-wide Research Consortium on Children and Families (RCCF)
garnered $18.1 million in external grant funding for fiscal 2011, a 28 percent increase
over the prior year and a four-fold rise since the RCCF's inception in 2002.
The RCCF is composed of 66 faculty located in 8 colleges and schools as well as several
centers and institutes. Research funding comes from a number of external sources, such
as the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
the National Science Foundation, and a number of private foundations.
The child research covers a broad variety of topics related to child well-being and
poverty, the promotion of achievement and social adjustment, autism, the prevention of
child abuse, youth substance abuse, genetic factors in child development, childhood
obesity, and health problems like asthma sickle cell anemia.
In addition to conducting internationally recognized research, the RCCF provides
guidance to policymakers at the state and national levels, hosts renowned speakers,
assists in interdisciplinary collaboration and mentors early-career scientists.
Study focuses on problem of childhood hunger.
Arnold School of Public Health researchers have
launched a study to better understand the
problem of childhood hunger and advance a
federal initiative to solve the problem by 2015.
The study is funded by a $550,000 grant from the
USDA Food and Nutrition Service, said Dr.
Sonya Jones, deputy director of Arnold
School's Center for Research in Nutrition and
Health Disparities and principal investigator of
Other University of South Carolina
researchers will include Drs. Angela Liese,
Christine Blake and Jan Probst, all
from the Arnold School, Dr. Darcy Freedman
of the College of Social Work, and Dr.
Bethany Bell of the College of Education.
See full story at
RCCF members Suzanne McDermott (PI) and Josh Mann (Co-PI) have recently been awarded CDC
funding in the amount of $1.17 million to conduct research: South Carolina Study on
Adolescents and Young Adults with Rare Conditions.
The project will focus on the health and welfare of adolescents and young adults with
rare conditions using both a cross-sectional (a single point in time) and a longitudinal
design (looking at people over an extended time period). The study group will be
15-24 year olds with spina bifida, muscular dystrophy and fragile X syndrome and we will
use linked administrative datasets (such as Medicaid, State Department of Education,
and Vocational Rehabilitation) to describe the well-being and service use of the study
group. We will estimate the prevalence of these conditions, their health status,
educational, and employment participation. We will estimate the age specific prevalence
for each condition and describe the occurrence of other acute and chronic medical
conditions, including diabetes mellitus, obesity, heart disease, respiratory disease
and other conditions. We will also describe the incidence and prevalence of co-morbid
and secondary conditions and the co-occurrence of intellectual disability, paralysis,
epilepsy, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. We will also describe the frequency
and type of health care received by each group, including rates of hospitalization,
emergency department visits, and outpatient services, and the cost-effectiveness of
different approaches to care. In the second and third year of the grant we will interview
125-175 affected individuals and their families to describe their living situation,
education, employment, and other markers of social participation, using the questionnaires
from the National Longitudinal Transition Study and the RAND 36. We will describe the
transition that occurs as adolescents with each condition mature into young adulthood,
in terms of health care and social services (including type and specialty of health care
provider by specialty, physical and occupational therapy, speech/language therapy,
counseling and other services). Finally, we plan to assess the ability of other states
to conduct the linked administrative data analyses and make recommendations that will
be generalizable to other states.
Dr. DeHart is Co-PI on a $786,470 Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention
project with Dr. Gregg Dwyer of the Medical University of South Carolina.
The project will use archival records and seized evidence (e.g., chat logs, videos)
from 14 states to develop evidence-based typologies of persons who use Internet chat
rooms to solicit children for sexual purposes. Findings will assist in criminal
investigation, forensic evaluation, risk assessment for sexual recidivism, mental health
system treatment planning, and correctional system management. Dr. DeHart is
Co-Investigator on a second $766,574 OJJDP grant that extends this work, prioritizing
case investigations based on offender characteristics, crime characteristics, and online
Jane Roberts receives $1.79 million from NIHM for
Dr. Jane Roberts, a member of the RCCF and a faculty
member in the Department of Psychology, is making a big splash here
at USC with her research on Autism.
Autism is a major
public health concern that affects the state of South Carolina and
our nation. With an estimated prevalence of autism cited as 1:110
and a cost of $35 billion per year, the early detection of autism in
high risk infants is critical to these children, their families and
the systems that support them. The over-arching aim of this study
is to expand information on the biological pathways and timing of
symptom emergence in infants at high risk for autism to facilitate
targeted treatments and refinement of the phenotype. This 5-year
study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health for
$1,790,000 in total award funds.
Look for story in USC Times in August 2011.
RCCF Executive Committee Member, Robert McKeown, receives TWO
Dr. Robert McKeown, chair of the Arnold School’s
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics,
will become president-elect of the American
College of Epidemiology (ACE). He will begin
that office in September.
In November, McKeown
will receive the prestigious Abraham Lilienfeld
Award from the Epidemiology Section of the
American Public Health Association (APHA).
McKeown received word of both major career
achievements on the same day, said Dean Tom
Chandler who congratulated his colleague "on
receiving such a high level of national
recognition for a productive and meaningful
career in public health."
The APHA Epidemiology Section Lilienfeld
Award recognizes excellence in the teaching of
epidemiology during the course of a career. It
is given in memory of Dr. Abraham Lilienfeld, an
outstanding teacher, scholar and former chair of
the epidemiology department at the Johns Hopkins
School of Public Health. Lilienfeld was one of
the most influential figures in the development
of epidemiology as a profession in the mid-20th
century. He influenced the careers of many
leading epidemiologic researchers. Past
recipients of this award include some of the
most highly respected epidemiologists of the
last two decades.
“I was shocked when the first call came.
Dumbfounded with the second. As great an honor
as the Lilienfeld Award is, even more meaningful
is the fact that one current and one former
student gave their time and effort to make the
nomination,” McKeown said.
“I am touched by their action and what it
means and by the many notes from friends and
colleagues I’ve received since the
announcement,” he said. “The greatest pride I
feel is not in any particular thing I’ve done,
but in the accomplishments of so many of my
former students who have gone on to do far more
than anything I ever taught them.”
Lilienfeld also was instrumental in the
founding of ACE in 1979, so his legacy is
attached to both of the honors that McKeown has
McKeown is a Fellow of ACE, former chair of
its Ethics Committee, and a recent member of its
Board of Directors. ACE is a credential-based
organization with a primary focus on promoting
excellence in the practice of epidemiology. ACE
sponsors professional development activities,
advocates for epidemiologists and for policies
critical to public health and to epidemiologic
research and practice, and promotes the ethical
values, principles, and obligations common to
epidemiologists across diverse professional
Regarding his election, McKeown said, “It is
gratifying and encouraging that my colleagues
from across the United States and in other
countries have given this vote of confidence.
Over years of involvement on committees and the
Board of Directors, I have come to appreciate
the rich diversity of talent ACE represents and
the wide range of settings in which
epidemiologists are making a difference in the
health of people.”
“This organization is uniquely suited to
supporting, enhancing, and extending that work.
As pleased as I am, it is also scary to face the
challenge of leading a national organization
with such a rich, if relatively short, history,”
McKeown said. “I am heartened that the
membership has asked me to work with them to
continue that tradition. I am humbled and more
than a little anxious, but also enormously
grateful for this opportunity. ”
See more of this story at
Suzi Baxter uses RCCF Pilot FUnding to help secure 2.7 million
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National
Institutes of Health recently awarded
Baxter a four-year, $2.7 million R01 grant for her
research project titled “Children's Dietary Recalls: Prompts,
Retention Interval, and Accuracy.” The relationship between diet
and disease is a critical one in public health, but dietary
assessment is challenging, especially among school children. As
parents are not present everywhere children eat meals (e.g., at
school), many studies and surveys must rely on elementary school
children in upper-grade levels to self-report dietary intake.
Although accuracy of children's dietary recalls is problematic,
research has shown that it can be improved by aspects under direct
control of investigators and practitioners. The R01 grant will
compare crucial yet untested aspects of commonly-used protocols for
obtaining 24-hour dietary recalls from fourth-grade children.
Results from this research will provide empirical evidence for
refining software to obtain more accurate 24-hour dietary recalls
from children for epidemiologic studies, interventions, and clinical
practice, and thereby lead to improved understanding of
relationships between diet and disease. Co-Investigators on this
James Hardin (Associate Research Professor in
the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Director of the
Biostatistics Collaborative Unit for Health Sciences) and Dawn
Wilson (Professor in the Department of Psychology). The R01
application included results from a pilot study that was funded in
part by the Research Consortium on Children and Families (RCCF).
The RCCF is a multidisciplinary University endeavor drawing together
faculty from behavioral/social sciences and closely related
disciplines who conduct grant-funded research related to
children/youth and their families. Baxter, Hardin, and Wilson are
all members of RCCF.