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FUTURES Study - Program Description

FUTURES stands for "Following Urban Teens: Unique and Resilient at Every Step". The FUTURES Project is a longitudinal study funded by National Institutes of Drug Abuse (NIDA). Data collection is complete and we are currently analyzing data to examine the effects of prenatal substance exposure and social risk factors on the neurocognitive and social development of teenagers in from urban, low-income environments.

The FUTURES Project began as the Mother-Infant Study at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. We followed 296 infants born at the University of Maryland Hospital. Families participated in a randomized controlled home intervention during the child's first two years of life. We met with children and caregivers twice a year until the children were 10 years-old. Data were collected at each visit on children's cognitive, behavioral, social, and psychological development. These data provide a rich source of information about how children who encounter a variety of risk and protective factors develop over time. 

In the current phase of the study, we are studying neurocognitive, psychological, and behavioral outcomes. Now that the original participants are adolescents, we are assessing the effects of early experiences such as substance exposure, environmental adversity, parental sensitivity, placement stability, and factors associated with resilience on adolescent development. We are also collaborating with a group at NIDA (Bayview campus) to study participant's structural and functional brain development. We hope to learn more about adolescent brain development in the context of early prenatal and social risk.