Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Learning in Early Childhood

Cohort Information

The CANDLE (Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Learning in Early Childhood) Study follows healthy pregnant women through their pregnancy and delivery, and continues to follow them and their children until age 3. The CANDLE Extension Study follows these mothers and children from ages 4 to 7.

CANDLE is located in Memphis, Tennessee, specifically Shelby County which sits in the southwestern corner of the state of Tennessee. CANDLE began enrolling participants in December 2006. In June 2011, the recruitment goal of 1,503 participants was achieved.

Demographically, the cohort matches the Shelby County Census tract closely. All percentages below are for CANDLE moms only. Sixty-six percent of CANDLE participants are African American, while 31% are Caucasian. Shelby County’s is 60% and 27% respectively. Single mothers make up 63% of CANDLE’s sample, which parallels Shelby County’s 61%.

Fifty-six percent of the CANDLE cohort have completed high school, technical school or had ‘some’ college. Only 12% of our cohort has less than high school education. Twenty percent of our participants have a bachelor’s degree, with 11% having a graduate or professional degree.

The low-income category of CANDLE’s income status is the largest with 58% reporting <$35,000 a year. Eighteen percent of CANDLE’s participant are Middle income ($35,000-$74,999), and 15% are >$75,000, with 9% unknown.


Mother Demographics in the CANDLE Participants of Relation to Populations of Shelby County and the US Birth Cohorts
Variable US Shelby County CANDLE
(N = 1503)
Race      
African American (%) 16 60 66
Caucasian 58 27 31
Other 25 10 3
       
% of Births to Single Mothers 34 61 63
       
% Born to Mothers Aged 20-35 Years 73 77 82
       
Education Completed      
< High School 18 29 12
High School, Some College, or Technical School 55 51 56
Bachelor's Degree 18 13 20
Graduate/Profesional Degree 10 7 11
       
Income Status      
Low Income (<200% Poverty Level or < $35,000) 33 58 58
Middle ($35,000-$74,999) 27 12 18
High (>$75,000) 26 16 15
Unknown 15 14 9
 
  • US Data from 2010 Statistical Abstract of the US, Table 92
  • Shelby County Data from Tennessee Department of Health Vital Statistics
  • Percentages may not add up to 100 due to interpolation of US Census data