June Cho, PhD, RN
Understanding the role of perinatal testosterone in mother and infant interactions
Building on the on the findings from a pilot project funded by the UAB School of Nursing Dean’s Scholar Award, Assistant Professor June Cho, PhD, RN was awarded an NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award (R21) from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute of Child Health and Human Development for a 2 year study entitled “Perinatal Testosterone in Infant Health, Mother-Infant Interaction and Development” (1R21HD066186).
Dr. Cho will examine the relationships between perinatal testosterone levels and infant health, mother-infant interactions, and infant cognitive/motor development. Specifically, Dr. Cho has been examining the possible association between perinatal testosterone and infant health and growth in very low birth weight (VLBW) preterm infants. By providing evidence for this link, Cho believes that this information will aid in the development of designing gender specific nursing interventions for mothers and their VLBW preterm infants, with the ultimate goal of improving their long and short term outcomes.
Dr. Cho’s R21 project is in the process of collecting and analyzing data from over 60 mother-VLBW infant pairs. “This research project is only possible because of the unwavering support that I receive from my UAB mentors, collaborators, and project staff - I cannot do it alone.” says Cho. Members of her diverse and well qualified, multi-disciplinary UAB team are: Professor of Pediatrics, Waldemar Carlo, MD; Professor of Pediatrics, Kenneth McCormick, MD; Psychology Professor, Fred Biasini, PhD; SON Associate Professor, Xiaogang Su, PhD; Research Nurse Coordinator, Vivien Phillips, BSN; and Program Administrator, Marianne McLaughlin, MPH.
Ever one to be looking towards the future, Dr. Cho hopes that the findings from this R21 will lead to further investigations to develop an intervention for emotionally at-risk mothers and their medically at-risk infants, with a focus on maternal prenatal stress management and improvement of quality of mother-infant interactions.
Funding for the projects ends at the end of 2012.
Cho, J., Holditch-Davis, D., & Miles, M. (2010). Effects of gender on the health and development of medically at-risk infants. Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing, 39(1), 536-549.
Cho, J., Carlo, W., Su, X., & McCormick, K. (2012). Associations between maternal peripartum health and salivary testosterone and cortisol levels, Southern Nursing Research Society 26th Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.
Cho, J., Carlo, W., Su, X., & McCormick, K. (2011). Potential association between perinatal testosterone and neonate health and growth, Southern Nursing Research Society 25th Annual Conference, Jacksonville, FL.