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  • USDA Childhood Obesity Prevention Training Program
  • PI: Elizabeth Adams, CCOR Ph.D. Student
  • Co-I's: Drs. Jennifer Savage Williams, CCOR, Ian Paul, Hershey Medical Center, Orfeu Buxton, Biobehavioral Health, Joshua Smyth, Biobehavioral Health, Danielle Downs, Kinesiology


With the ability to impact intergenerational energy balance (mother and infant), the development of healthy postpartum behaviors has the potential for improving our nation’s obesity epidemic. However, to effectively impact behavior, it is necessary to better understand the unique challenges (e.g. sleep and stress) faced during this stage of life.

Project EMPOWER aims take an interdisciplinary approach to identifying the independent and combined associations of maternal-infant sleep-wake patterns and maternal psychological state with postpartum weight retention, infant rapid weight gain, and infant feeding practices from birth to infant age 6 months. This microlongitudinal burst design allows for observational snapshots of how maternal/infant behavior and psychological characteristics impact components of energy balance and infant feeding practices.

The long-term goals of this study are to provide in-depth knowledge beneficial to the improvement of future interventions aimed at optimizing responsive parenting strategies to prevent childhood obesity.