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About Us 

Study Overview 

Stress and stressful experiences happen in every pregnancy. We are studying how daily stressors and hassles as well as bigger stressors affect mothers and their babies during pregnancy and after the babies are born. We want to understand how stress changes during pregnancy and how women cope with that stress.

Reactions to stress happen in two ways—through thoughts and actions and how the body reacts. We will ask you questions about your thoughts and actions, and we will measure your body’s reaction to stress by examining stress hormones in your saliva.​


We are recruiting women who have an infant under 6 months old and are between the ages of 18 and 34.

What do you do?

You will come to one of our offices twice when your baby is 6 months old and once when your baby is 2 1/2 years old and 4 years old. At the office visits, you will answer questions about your pregnancy, complete questionnaires, provide saliva samples from yourself (spitting into a tube) and your child (using a cotton swab). You will complete a brief public speaking activity. Your child will also complete mild stress tasks, which will be explained in more detail if you are eligible. You will also be asked to complete 2 days of saliva sampling at home after your interview. When your child is 9 months old, we will begin sending you online surveys to complete at home every 3 months. These surveys should take about 5-10 minutes to complete, and you will be compensated with a gift card after completion of each survey. Your confidentiality will be protected to the extent allowed by law. You can earn up to $675 in cash if you complete all study activities.

Research Team

This study is a collaboration between Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. It has been approved by both universities’ Institutional Review Boards.  Funding for the study comes from the National Institute of Health. We would love for you to participate. Please see the contact information below.

Michigan State University

contact information if you live in the greater Lansing area:

Study Phone: 517-432-2300

Study Email:

Investigator: Alytia Levendosky, PhD

Investigator: Anne Bogat, PhD

Investigator: Joe Lonstein, PhD

Study Manager: Jewelian Fairchild, BS

University of Michigan

contact information if you live in the Ann Arbor or Detroit area:

Study Phone: 734-926-5205

Investigator: Maria Muzik, MD, MS

Study Manager: Olivia Oates BA

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