From Theory to Measurement: Recommended State MCH Life Course Indicators

Tegan Callahan, Caroline Stampfel, Andria Cornell, Hafsatou Diop, Debora Barnes-Josiah, Debra Kane, Sarah Mccracken, Patricia McKane, Ghasi Phillips, Katherine Theall, Cheri Pies, William Sappenfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: In May 2012, the Association of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Programs initiated a project to develop indicators for use at a state or community level to assess, monitor, and evaluate the application of life course principles to public health. Description: Using a developmental framework established by a national expert panel, teams of program leaders, epidemiologists, and academicians from seven states proposed indicators for initial consideration. More than 400 indicators were initially proposed, 102 were selected for full assessment and review, and 59 were selected for final recommendation as Maternal and Child Health (MCH) life course indicators. Assessment: Each indicator was assessed on five core features of a life course approach: equity, resource realignment, impact, intergenerational wellness, and life course evidence. Indicators were also assessed on three data criteria: quality, availability, and simplicity. Conclusion: These indicators represent a major step toward the translation of the life course perspective from theory to application. MCH programs implementing program and policy changes guided by the life course framework can use these initial measures to assess and influence their approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2336-2347
Number of pages12
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Health indicators
  • Life course
  • Maternal and child health
  • Public health surveillance
  • Reproductive health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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