New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

NYU College of Dentistry Shares $1 Million NIH Grant with Stony Brook University to Study Impact of Family Conflict on Health

March 19, 2010

Do frequent arguments between parents and an unstable home environment contribute to oral and systemic health problems, as well as to psychological stress?  Researchers from the NYU College of Dentistry and Stony Brook University are examining this question with the help of a two-year, $1 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of NIH.

The study is being led jointly by Dr. Mark Wolff, Professor and Chair of the Department of Cariology & Comprehensive Care and Associate Dean for Predoctoral Clinical Education at the NYU College of Dentistry, and Drs. Richard Heyman and Amy Slep, both Research Professors of Psychology at Stony Brook University. The co-investigators will evaluate 800 parents and caregivers and 400 children ages four to eleven who live in Suffolk County, New York.  Drs. Heyman and Slep identified the subjects through a telephone survey conducted in conjunction with an earlier study that was limited to the psychological effects of family conflict in homes with frequent parental conflict and dysfunction.

 In the new study, the NYU-Stony Brook research team will administer comprehensive oral, systemic, and psychological health examinations to evaluate the subjects for:

  • oral health status and quality of life, including number of dental caries
  • physical health status, including susceptibility to common ailments such as colds and the flu
  • blood levels of enzymes and proteins associated with diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and other stress-related, inflammatory conditions
  • mental health status, including symptoms of depression and anxiety

The investigators hypothesize that, of the subjects evaluated, children who are frequently exposed to family conflict will have higher than average levels of dental caries, common systemic illnesses, and psychological problems.  If this proves to be the case, the study could lead to the development of specific recommendations on how to screen those at risk for a broad range of oral, systemic, and psychological health conditions. 

“We hope that this study will make dentists, dental hygienists, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers more aware of the implications of family conflict,” said Dr. Wolff.

Dr. Ananda P. Dasanayake, Professor of Epidemiology & Health Promotion at the NYU College of Dentistry, is a coinvestigator on the study.

This Article is in the following Topics:
NYUToday-feature, Research, College of Dentistry, Sponsored Awards

Type: Article

NYU College of Dentistry Shares $1 Million NIH Grant with Stony Brook University to Study Impact of Family Conflict on Health

Search News



NYU In the News

CUSP Unveils its “Urban Observatory”

Crain’s New York Business profiled CUSP’s “Urban Observatory” that is continuously photographing lower Manhattan to gather scientific data.

Post-Sandy Upgrades at the Langone Medical Center

NY1 reported on the major post-Sandy upgrades and renovations made at the Medical Center to protect the hospital from future catastrophic storms.

Steinhardt Research Helps Solve Tough Speech Problems.

The Wall Street Journal reported on research at Steinhardt’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, including an interview with Assistant Professor Tara McAllister Byun, that uses ultrasound to help solve tough speech problems.

Times Column Lauds Professor Stevenson’s New Memoir

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote a column about “Just Mercy,” a new memoir by Law Professor Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, whom he noted has been called America’s Nelson Mandela.

Entrepreneurship Lab Opens at NYU

Crain’s New York Business covered the opening of the Mark and Debra Leslie Entrepreneurial eLab, which will be the headquarters for NYU’s Entrepreneurial Institute and all of the University’s programs aimed at promoting innovation and startups.

NYU Footer