Gene Expression Collaborative for Kids Only (GECKO)
To develop fundamental new knowledge of the neurobiological and genetic substrates underlying SES-atypicality that is, how early social environmental exposures and epigenetic regulation of gene expression work together to influence a childs susceptibility vs. resilience to compromised and disadvantaged social circumstances. A key concept driving the sampling frame and design of the project is this SES-typicality vs. -atypicality within community-level associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and health/developmental outcomes. The strong, linear association between SES and developmental vulnerability, for example, defines four subgroups of communities. The majority cluster within the two SES-typical groups (low SES-high vulnerability and high SES-low vulnerability) that characterize the primary association. Equally important, however, are the off-diagonal or SES-atypical communities, in which children are either anomalously resilient given their low SES neighborhoods (low SES-low vulnerability), or anomalously vulnerable for their rearing within relatively high SES settings (high SES-high vulnerability).