Volunteer for Child Development Research

Posted on February 28th, 2017

Are you looking for a new activity to do with your child? Interested in helping advance scientific research?
Consider volunteering for child development research with UConn KIDS.

Started in 2014, UConn KIDS (or Kids in Developmental Science) is a group of researchers from across many departments at the University of Connecticut that specializing in child development and behavior research. The researchers share a collective database of participants interested in being a part of research studies.

Any family with a child who is interested in participating can submit their contact information to the UConn KIDS database at any time. They are always seeking to recruit new families because research would be impossible without willing participants.

Research helps us to develop knowledge for future generations and create best practices. The research happening through UConn KIDS is helping people across the United States and around the globe understand complex issues such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, speech and language delays, how children develop social skills, why childhood friendships end, and even how food companies use targeted ads to market directly to Black and Latino youth. If helping future generations understand such complex problems isn’t reason enough to participate in research, families who participate may be compensated for their time as a “Thank you”. Past compensation has included a t-shirt, stickers, a gift card, a child toy, or a coupon to the UConn Dairy Bar, depending on the research study. You are welcome to ask if and how you will be compensated before agreeing to participate in a study!

UConn Kids has a few ongoing studies related to Brain Development in Early Childhood:
1) Husky See – Husky Do, Children and Babies: Have you ever wondered: “What is my baby/child learning when watching others?” This study involves different imitation and picture games that help researchers understand how children’s brains respond when watching and copying others’ actions.
2) Emotional development of Kindergarteners: This study seeks to understand how mothers contribute to their children’s emotional development. We use both free play, a story-telling task, an empathy task and a vocabulary task to analyze the ways in which emotional development takes place.
3) Neural Organization of Language Development: This study looks at how the brain organizes itself to help us learn language. During the study, children complete puzzles, word games, and hearing, language, and reasoning assessments. Children will also have an MRI of their brain during which they will play word games with the researcher. At the end, children get to take home a picture of their brain!

For more information or to sign up, visit http://kids.uconn.edu/