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New Horizons in Health: An Integrative Approach
designating communities for inclusion in extant longitudinal studies. For example, certain people in the 1946 British birth cohort study who reside in particular settings might be designated for studies of collective community properties that influence the health of individuals. Additional people from such settings might also be enrolled in subsequent waves of the larger study. Shifting to the United States, multiple satellite studies of the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States 4 might serve as core populations for future biobehavioral research initiatives. Similarly, the Chicago Neighborhood Study might be a critical resource for the broad-gauged investigations of pathways described herein. These specific studies are mentioned here only to illustrate the kinds of possibilities that need to be addressed. Indeed, broad consideration of communities in the United States and other countries should be part of the process of identifying the minimal set of populations to be maintained for the integrative studies delineated in this report.
Turning to animal populations, the free-ranging monkeys at Cayo Santiago Island (Berard, 1989) and Amboseli baboon communities (Altmann et al., 1993) are two instances of nonhuman primate communities that would be central resources for investigating the maintenance of allostasis, the cascade of events leading to allostatic load, and biopsychosocial pathways to diverse health outcomes. Laboratory colonies are also needed. Much more naturalistic living conditions than are currently operative—where ongoing interaction among multiple animals is facilitated —will be necessary for studies of pathway and environmentally induced gene expression delineated in Chapter 4.
CLINICAL RESEARCH CENTERS
Most major academic medical centers have a general clinical research center (GCRC) as part of their research infrastructure. The objective of these centers is to facilitate clinical studies on human populations. The emphasis, historically, in these centers has been strictly biomedical. Recently there has been encouragement for GCRC studies that integrate social and behavioral science and biomedical assessments on the same population. A prototype can be found in the GCRC at the University of Wisconsin (Ryff, 2000). A key project leading to renewed funding for that center focused on how social relationships are consequential for health. The study emerged from the growing body of research in social epidemiology, which