Applying Neurobiological and Socio-behavioral Sciences from Prenatal through Early Childhood Development: A Health Equity Approach

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Children and Families, Public Health, Select Populations and Health Equity
Board: Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice

Activity Description

Neurobiological and socio-behavioral research indicate that early life conditions, including social support and adversity, shape prenatal and early childhood development. These exposures unfold through education, housing, physical and social environment (the social determinants of health). However, programs and policies designed to mitigate these adverse conditions have not always had the positive effects intended for the majority of recipients of these programs. Scientific evidence can be used more effectively to understand subgroup differences in response to early life conditions and to better inform efforts to advance health equity through policy actions, program development, practice changes, systems reform, and research.
Building on the science base described in the 2000 report From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development, the concepts in the 2017 report Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity, and drawing upon new insights from 21st century science in the neurobiological and socio-behavioral fields in the prenatal to early childhood period, an ad hoc committee will:

  1. provide a brief overview of stressors that affect brain development and health;
  2. identify promising models and opportunities for translation of the science to action;
  3. identify outcome measures; develop a roadmap to apply the science to tailored interventions; and
  4. provide recommendations in the areas formerly listed.



To view committee biographical sketches, click here.

To view the committee roster, click here.  

 To learn more about the National Academy of Medicine’s Culture of Health Program, please visit this webpage.


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