Studies
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research
Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS)
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology (MEXT)
gA Cohort Study Examining Genetic and Environmental Factors on Infants
and a Biological foundation in Child Social Behavior h
(Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) Research Project Number15H03453)
Fiscal year 2015~2017
Also known as: gSuku-Suku Cohort, Mieh and gMukogawa Child Studyh

gA Cohort Study Examining Genetic and Environmental Factors on Infants
and Its Effect on Social Behavior in Childhoodh
(Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) Research Project Number21243039)
Fiscal year 2009~2013
Also known as: gSuku-Suku Cohort, Mieh and gMukogawa Child Studyh

Introduction

This research project was launched with the intention to continue the follow up of children at Tsu City, Mie and Nishinomiya City, Hyogo for a further five years following gIdentification of Factors Affecting Cognitive and Behavioral Development of Children in Japanh, a part of the Japan Childrenfs Study Project gSuku-Suku Cohorth conducted from the fiscal year 2004 through 2008, focusing on the area of Brain-Science and Society implemented by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). Additionally, another three years have been added to this project and examination and tracing of children's developmental processes from infancy through school-age is made possible with the extension of the study, making this project a large scale project, studying from newborn babies to school-age children.



Research Objectives

The institute for Educational Research of Mukogawa Womenfs UniversityECenter for the Study of Child Development has been conducting research for a wide range of childrenfs developmental process. The cohort study that has been carried out as Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) (B) aims to reveal how sociality during childhood is directly correlated with childrenfs biological factors and social factors that surround them.

It is considered that child development consists of two main factors; that development is biologically regulated seen as developmental processes until they are born and the social environment that surrounds children as it represents language and social-role behavior. These factors are correlated and should be disclosed.

To disclose these relationships, each cooperator should be regularly studied from their neonatal period. Our objective of this research is to elucidate how the sociality during childhood is developed by tracing childrenfs developmental processes throughout different stages in the cooperatorfs life.



Observation Room

In preparation for the launch of the observation project, a room on the fifth floor of the Institute Building of Mukogawa Womenfs University was renovated for developmental observation. Preparation and renovation of the observation room include the purchasing of necessary items, underlayment of mats with soft foam padding, and installment of flame retardant curtains. The completed observation booth, with an area of 3.72 square meters, is fully sound proofed and equipped with six video cameras, one omni-directional camera, microphones, a motion-capture system, and one-way mirrors. Creation of a homelike atmosphere is consciously implemented by unifying the observation room with light colors, installing curtains by the windows (one-way mirrors), and placing closets and other furniture around the room. Protective covers are placed over protruding areas in the room for safety purposes. The observation room is also furnished with a baby bed, diaper changing table, and spaces for breastfeeding.



Method

Currently, many of the cooperators have become upper elementary students. These children have been participants in this study since infancy. Regarding observation during infancy, we provided participants with a recording-friendly environment to minimize the burden for them as listed below. This room was used after they entered elementary schools, so it became a memorable room for them so much so than they felt nostalgic when returning to revisit the recording-friendly environment.

The recording room is located on the fifth floor of the institute building and furnished with flame retardant curtains and memory foam mattress. Not only six video cameras and a motion-capture system make the mechanical recording possible, but also a one-way mirror enables us to observe directory. The room is 3.72 square meters and soundproofed. There is furniture for kids to create a comfortable environment that the children felt safe in. For infant observation, equipment such as diaper changing table was placed.



The Percentages of Recruitment and the retention Rate

The Mukogawa Child Study was offered approximately 100 applications from potential participants, and was able to gain approximately 60 pairs of mother-infant to take part in observation at our initial inquiry.

Due to the nature of Nishinomiya as a commuter city in the Kansai area where relocation of residents occur frequently, approximately 5 participants were lost with each passing years due to the participants moving out of the area. As of fiscal year 2013, 2/3 of the participants from the initial participation continued their involvement in the study. Efforts have been made to encourage keeping participation for those moved close areas that are commutable, while encouragement of participation through written questionnaires are done with those who moved far from our area. Other reason for dropout aside from relocation of residents is the difficulty in traveling due to the birth of a sibling. Efforts have also been made to avoid further dropout as mentioned below.



The Implementation of Observations

The frequency in the implementation of the observation depends on the participantsf age. When the participants were at the age of 4 months, 9 months (13 months at optional in Mukogawa) and 18 months, observations were conducted twice a year. Observations were conducted once at intervals of 12-18months when the participants were 30 months, 42 months, 5 years, and 6 years old. When participants reach second grade in elementary school, WISC assessment will be administered along with the observation.

The summary of the observation schedule is as follows.

Suku-Suku Cohort Mie Suku-Suku Cohort MieiNICUj Mukogawa Child Study
4 months
9 months
18 months
30 months
42 months
5 years
6 years
1st grade in elementary school
* questionnaires are only required
in June/ November
2nd grade in elementary school
4 months
9 months
18 months
30 months
42 months
5 years
6 years
4 months
9 months *13 months : optional
18 months
30 months
42 months
5 years
6 years
1st grade in elementary school
* questionnaires are only required
in June/ November
2nd grade in elementary school
* Saliva investigation : optional
3rd grade in elementary school
* questionnaires are only required
4th grade in elementary school
* questionnaires are only required
5th grade in elementary school
* questionnaires are only required
* Saliva investigation(Mailing) : optional
6th grade in elementary school
* questionnaires are only required
3rd grade in elementary school
* questionnaires are only required
4th grade in elementary school
* Saliva investigation : optional
5th grade in elementary school



Active Efforts to Maintain Participant in Long-Term Study

The Mukogawa Child Study has put great efforts in finding effective ways to ensure the involvement of participants since keeping long-term relationship with participants playing an essential role in the implementation of our cohort project. Scheduling of observations is flexibly arranged in coordination with the motherfs schedule, especially working mothers, where staffs are made available on Saturdays and even holidays. Babysitting staff are also arranged for the siblings of participants. When fathers and grandparents accompany the participants, staff will ensure that they do not feel alienated by watching with and engaging in conversation relating to the child so to generate a sense of participation. Age appropriate storybooks and toys are presented to the participants after each observation as a token of appreciation for their continued participation. Mailing of bi-yearly newsletters to the participants is also implemented with the intention to provide participants with feedback information about study results as well as to retain high level of commitment and motivation for project participation.



Budget and Research Structure

IIn continuation from "Identification of Factors Affecting Cognitive and Behavioral Development of Children in Japan", as a part of the Japan Childrenfs Study project gSuku-Suku Cohorth implemented by the Japanese Science and Technology Agency (JST), Mukogawa Child Study was closely involved from the fiscal year 2004 through 2008. A 5 year follow up study was renamed as gA Cohort Study Examining the Genetic and Environmental Factors of Infants and Its Effect on Social Behavior in Childhood" supported with the funding (Grant-in Aid Scientific Research (A)) from fiscal year 2009 to 2013, and a three year follow up study named gA Cohort Study Examining Genetic and Environmental Factors on Infants and a Biological foundation in Child Social Behaviorh supported with the funding (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B)) from fiscal year 2014 to 2017. Both grants are provided by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

Grants are also received from the University in running the collaborative project with Nishinomiya city under the title gA Developmental Cohort Study in Nishinomiyah.



International Peer ReviewiPDFj

At our annual study meeting, Prof. Dr. G.J.P.Savelsbergh from Department of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije University, The Netherlands was invited as a guest advisor, and he provided an international peer review of the study.



gSuku-Suku Cohorth NewsletteriPDFj

Newsletters are issued twice a year to participants in order to provide with feedback information and to generate a sense of participation to maintain participantsf interest in continuing involvement in the project.

2016 2015 2014 Spring 2014 Autumn 2013 Spring 2013 Summer

2012 Winter 2012 Summer 2011 Spring 2011 Summer 2010 Winter





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