The Pittsburgh Study develops and tests program interventions at different developmental stages by following children and families in Allegheny County from before birth through high school.
Through research and collaboration, we focus on thriving as a key metric as we co-create program innovations and drive advocacy by sharing data to improve child health and racial equity. Our work is connected by a common framework of age-based scientific collaboratives spanning pregnancy through age 18 and cross-cutting scientific committees.
Our neighbors are engaged as Citizen Scientists who contribute to every aspect of the work. From surveys to committee co-leadership, our community members play leading roles in exploring, learning, creating, sharing, implementing, and transforming. Together, we foster local change by serving as a research incubator and network to steward work that addresses the most critical challenges that stand in the way of healthy and equitable growth and development. Working side-by-side as agents of change, we address existing and emerging issues to reduce obstacles our youth face in their everyday lives.
The Pittsburgh Study places great emphasis on inclusion, open communication and making sure children and family members are treated with respect by our trained staff. If you’re an Allegheny County parent participating in the research, you and your child will ideally follow a path that begins when your child enrolls and ends when they turn eighteen.
Each stage–pregnancy, early childhood, early school age, middle childhood, and adolescence–has its own kind of thriving. Scientific teams co-led by academic researchers and community leaders develop, test, tailor, and advocate for programs that address the goals and priorities for children and youth. We focus on positive health outcomes (rather than disease and deficits). We promote health equity, especially racial equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
Our cross-cutting committees examine how factors affecting all children and youth influence thriving. These groups are Health Services Delivery; Policy and Place; Data Access; and Healthy Environments, Strong Bodies. These groups approach their work informed by community goals, priorities, and barriers, structural racism, and the need to focus on strengths.
Community-partnered research must lead towards action. Together, we can make the worlds in which we all live better, healthier emotionally, socially, physically. This is the driving principle behind scientific data driving political action, outcomes informing institutional practices, and stories and experiences catalyzing change.
Our goal is to remake systems to intentionally work for young people so each of them has the skills and tools to match their wildest hopes and dreams.
Age-Based Collaboratives &
Cross-cutting Scientific Committees
Healthy Pregnancy Collaborative
Early Childhood Collaborative
Early School-Age Collaboration
Middle Childhood Collaborative
Adolescent Collaborative, Middle School
Adolescent Collaborative, High School
Health Services Committee, Community Vitality Collaborative
Healthy Environments Strong Bodies Committee
Policy and Place Committee
Data Accessibility Committee
Statistics & Data Core
The Pittsburgh Study focuses on integration. We collaborate across these different committees. We also make sure that we are integrating what we are learning (including data). The Statistics and Data Core helps us build databases that talk to each other.
We also ask children, youth, and families to participate in sharing updates with us about how they are doing on various thriving metrics over time. We do this through the Longitudinal THRIVE study.
THRIVE is a large community-partnered study, designed to follow development of young people as they grow, starting in the womb and progressing all the way through adolescence. Through surveys about individual experiences, we can identify the neighborhood characteristics, environmental conditions, policies and practices that support families and children in Allegheny County.