Cover: The Urban Child Institute CANDLE Study

The Urban Child Institute CANDLE Study

Methodological Overview and Baseline Sample Description

Published Dec 21, 2015

by Lisa Sontag-Padilla, Rachel M. Burns, Regina A. Shih, Beth Ann Griffin, Laurie T. Martin, Anita Chandra, Frances Tylavsky


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The Urban Child Institute (UCI) developed the Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Learning in Early Childhood (CANDLE) Study. UCI then provided funding to the University of Tennessee Department of Preventive Medicine to start CANDLE in 2006 in Shelby County, Tennessee. The partnership was leveraged to support collection of prenatal and early-childhood data on a healthy and ethnically diverse sample. As part of its broader relationship with UCI (started in 2011), the RAND Corporation was then asked to review the data collected for CANDLE, create a strategic plan for their use, and prepare the data for further analysis.

The large-scale UCI CANDLE Study has followed roughly 1,500 pregnant women from their second trimesters until the children's third birthdays. Enrollment continued through 2011. Data collection is now complete, and data analysis is ongoing. The study was designed to identify what factors during pregnancy and early childhood affect a child's development and ability to learn. This report provides the CANDLE Study design and summary data from the first year of data collection, covering study participant demographics, prenatal and birth measures, child and family health, child and family nutrition, mothers' mental and behavioral health, mothers' and children's cognitive performance, mothers' and children's psychosocial measures, and biological samples for both mothers and children. The study gives researchers the opportunity to examine early markers of healthy early-childhood development and the influences of genetics, biology, family, and community environment within a racially and economically diverse sample of healthy mothers and children.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Urban Child Institute (UCI) and conducted within RAND Health and RAND Education.

This report is part of the RAND research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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