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The purpose of the study is to learn about how young children understand and respond to emotions in others and how children's understanding of emotions is related to their well-being.
During the visit, you and your child will do some activities together such as role-playing. Your child will also complete activities with a researcher, such as telling stories about different fictional situations, completing a brief cognitive assessment, and answering questions about emotions using drawings of faces. During this time, you will complete an interview and questionnaires about your psychological functioning, your child's behavior and emotions, and your family. At times, you will not be in the same room as your child, but you will be able to see your child on a video monitor at all times. You and your child will be videotaped during the interactions, and we will measure your child’s heart rate. At the end of the visit, we will also give you a few questionnaires for your child’s teacher to fill out and mail back to us with your permission.
You are welcome to be in the room as a research assistant places three small stickers (about the size of a round band-aid) on your child – two on your child’s chest and one on your child’s stomach. (Our special pediatric stickers are not painful to apply or remove.) The stickers are attached to wires connected to a small box that allows us to monitor your child’s heart rate while your child is completing the activities.
Your participation in the study helps the community by allowing us to learn more about children's understanding of emotions and how emotional skills might be important for healthy social and psychological development. We plan to publish the research in academic journals in hopes that our study will help improve overall understanding of child development. Through your participation, you may also learn something about yourself and/or your child. Some parents have reported that they enjoy the unique experience of observing their child telling stories, answering questions, and interacting with another adult. Additionally, your child will receive a small gift and you will receive a $30 gift card.
Our lab gets a bit chilly sometimes. You may want to bring a sweater for yourself and your child. If you completed paper verisions of the questionnaires, please bring them with you as well.
Families participate one at a time. We reserve our lab space and research assistants just for you! We anticipate enrolling about 100 families in this study.