Longitudinal research continues in Los Robles, Nicaragua via the collaboration with Universities of Alabama, Ohio State, and Calgary. Kohl Dothage, a graduate student from Alabama spent the summer investigating “how everyday adverse experiences, including food and water insecurity, chronic and infectious disease, economic strain, and general psychological and social stress shape maternal and child health.

In 2015, the mental and physical health status of 100 women and children were assessed as part of a research team lead by Dr. Warren Wilson from the University of Calgary. In the Summer of 2019, Kohl Dothage revisited the same women and children in order to: 

  • Describe changes in maternal and child mental and physical health since 2015
  • Examine why some households are better able than others to maintain or improve their health over time
  • Investigate the relationship between maternal resilience and child health, with special focus on the ways in which maternal resilience may improve child health outcomes, including child growth. 
  • Explore the role of “meaning attribution” in the emergence of resilience. This refers to women’s ability to give positive purpose to their struggles, often by explaining them as part of a larger plan or as an important part of the process of personal growth.

Benefitting the community, the study’s participants and the international academic community, Kohl’s research will “further our understanding of the types of resources, services, and community structures that foster health and wellbeing among women and their children.” 

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