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Teachers College: The Eclectic Developmentalist

IN A RECENT ISSUE OF MONITOR ON PSYCHOLOGY MAGAZINE, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn was reported to be “giddy with excitement.”

The cause: She and her colleagues are using techniques from a new branch of molecular biology called social genomics to look at gene expression in some 3,000 pairs of samples from mothers and children in the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study. The study, to which Brooks-Gunn contributes as a developmental psychologist, has followed children born to unmarried parents in 20 cities from birth to age 9. It also follows the mothers and fathers. The study has been gathering data on how child outcomes (health, behavior and achievement) are influenced by environmental factors, including parenting, economic and employment status, and neighborhood conditions.

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