Children of the Earthquake Survey

The project "children of the earthquake" studies the effect on children of prenatal exposure to  a major earthquake that struck Chile in 2005.  With support from the National Science Foundation and the United Nations Development Program, we are conducting a survey of children exposed to the earthquake during gestation, as well as a group of unexposed “control” children. The first wave of fieldwork was conducted in 2013, when children are 6-7 years old.

Drawing on mothers' interviews and diverse assessments of children (including their cognitive function, executive function, health, and collection of biomarkers), we examine the effect of prenatal exposure to an environmental stressor on early childhood development.

This study will address the following questions:

  1. Do the children exposed to a major natural disaster have lower cognitive, health, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes during early childhood?
  2. When during pregnancy is acute maternal stress more influential for children’s outcomes?
  3. Which factors mediate the influence of in-utero stress on children’s outcomes?
  4.  How does the effect of prenatal exposure to a natural disaster vary across social class, family and community characteristics.
  • Questionnaires:                        Mother: Spanish / English                                                   Primary caregiver:                             Spanish / English
  • Child Assessment Instrument (Spanish / English)