Summary

The purpose of this project was to inform decision making related to early intervention programs for at-risk children. The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) developed a model for testing the hypothesis that “biological embedding” impacts the development of individuals early in life by biologically encoding neural, neuroendocrine and neuroimmune systems. These systems subsequently influence health outcomes later in life. The hypothesis suggests that the capacities of an individual are sculpted in the early years of life by the surrounding environment in ways that are long lasting, if not permanent. CIFAR was interested in examining the impact of low socioeconomic status (SES) during a child’s early developmental years on their long term economic and social success. This project set out to test whether meaningful interventions for “at-risk” children could successfully intervene in individual success over the long term, by imbuing children with different kinds of “biological embedding” in order to prepare them for success.