IKIDS uses novel methods developed in our Formative Children’s Center and in experimental neuropsychology laboratories to assess the impact of prenatal exposure to phthalates, BPA, and other endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on the physical and behavioral development of the child from birth to 5 years of age. Steroid hormones play a critical organizing role in physical and brain development during the prenatal period, and exposure to EDCs could result in behavioral deficits and/or changes in the typical pattern of sex differences in physical development and cognitive function. Thus, IKIDS examines the impact of exposure to EDCs on general, as well as sex-specific measures of physical health and cognitive function.
In addition, IKIDS is concerned with recent findings suggesting that maternal obesity may be linked to various health problems in the offspring. A large percentage of reproductive age women consume diets high in saturated fats (HFD), and are either overweight or obese. Thus, another important goal of the study is to investigate if maternal obesity and/or HFD increase the health risks from prenatal exposure to EDCs.