Welcome to Life Course 101.

New to life course health development or life course intervention research? Start here! These readings and resources will give an overview of life course health development theory and frameworks to support life course intervention research.


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Developmental Origins of Disease

  • Barker DJP. The developmental origins of adult diseaseJ Am Coll Nutr. 2004;23(6, suppl):588S–595S. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Life Course Theory

  • Kuh D, Ben-Shlomo Y, Lynch J, Hallqvist J, Power C. Life course epidemiologyJ Epidemiol Community Health. 2003;57(10):778–783. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Life Course Health Development

  • Halfon, N., & Hochstein, M. (2002). Life course health development: An integrated framework for developing health, policy, and research. Milbank Quarterly 80(3), 433–479, iii. [PMC free article]

  • Halfon N, Larson K, Lu M, Tullis E. Russ S. Lifecourse health development: past, present and future. Matern Child Health J. 2014;18(2):344–365. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

  • Halfon N, Forrest C. The emerging theoretical framework of life course health development.  In Halfon N, Forrest CB, Lerner RM, et al., editors. Handbook of Life Course Health Development [Internet]. Cham (CH): Springer; 2018; Part 1, 19 [Springer]

  • Russ SA, Larson K, Tullis E, Halfon N. A lifecourse approach to health development: implications for the maternal and child health research agenda. Matern Child Health J. 2014;18(2):497-510. doi:10.1007/s10995-013-1284-z [Springer]

  • Halfon N, Russ S, Regalado M. The Life Course Health Development Model: A Guide to Children’s Health Care Policy and Practice. Zero to Three. January 2005. [PDF]

Handbook of Life Course Health Development

Organization of Services and Systems to Support Health Development

  • Halfon N, Inkelas M, Hochstein M. The health development organization: an organizational approach to achieving child health development. Milbank Q. 2000;78(3):447-341. doi:10.1111/1468-0009.00180 PDF (300K)

Life Course Health Development and Health Disparities

  • Lu MC, Halfon N. Racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes: a life-course perspective. Matern Child Health J. 2003;7(1):13-30. doi:10.1023/a:1022537516969 [PubMed]

  • Lu MC, Kotelchuck M, Hogan V, Jones L, Wright K, Halfon N. Closing the Black-White gap in birth outcomes: a life-course approach. Ethn Dis. 2010;20(1 Suppl 2):S2-76. [PMC Free Article] [PDF (227K)]

  • Larson K, Russ SA, Kahn RS, et al. Health Disparities: A Life Course Health Development Perspective and Future Research Directions. 2017 Nov 21. In: Halfon N, Forrest CB, Lerner RM, et al., editors. Handbook of Life Course Health Development [Internet]. Cham (CH): Springer; 2018. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-47143-3_20  [PDF]

Social Determinants of Health and Life Course Health Development

  • Halfon N, Larson K, Russ S. Why social determinants?. Healthc Q. 2010;14 Spec No 1:8-20. doi:10.12927/hcq.2010.21979 Long woods article


This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under award U9DMC49250, the Life Course Translational Research Network. The information, content, and/or conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the US Government.