How do I sign up to participate in studies? Click here! Once you fill out and submit the form, an Infant and Child Studies researcher will be in contact to confirm your information. Depending on your preference, we will call or email you when your child is the right age for a study. It is always your choice to decide what studies may interest you. You are not required to participate in a study if you join our consortium. It is always your choice! Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at 301-405-6302 Follow these seven simple steps!
Our labs will be in touch with studies for your kids’ ages. When you are contacted we'll work to schedule an appointment time that works best for you.
Visit us at the University of Maryland in College Park.
Pull into one of our parking spots specially reserved for you! We can also meet you at one of the many bus stops around campus.
Let your child play and get comfortable! Our offices are designed with kids in mind. Researchers with years of childcare experience under their belts are ready to meet you.
Do some science! Our researchers are always working to create new games for their studies. We've previously looked at at how children understand abstract words, learn to help others, and form memories.
Pick out a book or toy with your child, and meet and talk with the researchers behind the study.
What age does my child have to be? We constantly have multiple studies ongoing for the entire range of childhood: newborns to seventeen-year-olds.
Why should I participate in research at the University of Maryland? Child development research has important implications for improving our educational system, uncovering better ways to help the world's 7.6 million children under 5 (UNICEF) to reach their full adult potential, discovering treatments for cognitive disorders like autism, and developing and improving incredible scientific and engineering advancements like the cochlear implant. Around the world, scientists studying child development must rely on study participation of local families in order to make these advancements. Research on child development at universities is important because scientists have the ability to ask fine-tuned, nuanced, up-to-date questions and to achieve results that can positively impact policy. Child development research is the reason we know it is important to read to children, that it is beneficial to avoid smoking during pregnancy, and how to diagnose and help those with autism.
Do any of the studies pose a risk to my child? No, there are no unusual risks to our studies. Parents will either participate with their child or are near their child at all times during the visit. If at any time during a study you or your child no longer wish to participate, just let us know, and we can pause or stop the session.
What are studies like for my infant? If babies could only talk like adults, child development research would be much easier! Instead, researchers must pay attention to where babies are looking, what they are listening to, and their behaviors. Just like adults, babies also get bored listening or watching things they have seen before. They are more likely to look longer at objects and events that are new to them. In a lot of our studies, researchers will show your baby a video (usually ten minutes or less) while he or she sits next to or on the lap of a parent or caretaker. Researchers will pay attention to how long infants listen and where they look. Is this an event or object this child has seen before? Is this a type of sentence or word this child already knows? In other types of studies, we look at babies' behaviors. This could involve seeing what kinds of preferences they have, and if they react positively to certain events, by showing them a video or puppet show (in one famous study, researchers put on a puppet show and discovered that babies preferred the puppets that were shown to be nice). We understand that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents avoid screen time for their children under two-years-old. Screen time in our studies is extremely limited, and includes content much closer to the style of a book or FaceTime and Skype call. Most importantly, our videos are tailored for infants at their exact stage of development. We use slow speech and purposeful action, and avoid distracting and overwhelming content.
Is my child's information kept safe? Yes, all of your child's information will be kept strictly confidential and for the purposes of our research. Study data will not be linked to any identifiable details pertaining to your child. Confidentiality is of the utmost importance to us!
Does my child need to have a delay or disorder to participate in studies? No, most of our studies focus on "typical" child development trends. However, a few studies do focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), childhood concussions, and cochlear implant work.
Where will I park? Once you schedule a study appointment, that particular lab will send you instructions to the free parking spot for that visit.
How long do visits take? Appointments typically last an hour or less, but we will discuss the expected length of the appointment with you before scheduling.
Will I be compensated for participating? Children will receive a small gift at the end of the study. Several studies do provide monetary compensation, but in general, the benefits from the study comes from the fun you will have, and the knowledge that you are making an incredible contribution to science.
Can I bring my other children with me? Yes, we can usually provide free baby-sitting for any siblings you bring along. Let us know when we are scheduling, so we can make sure to have a babysitter available.
What is there to do on campus after my visit? There are plenty of fun activities to do on campus! 1. Visit Testudo at his statue in front of McKeldin Library 2. Visit the fountain on McKeldin Mall 3. Take a trip to the campus farm and take a peek at the animals 4. Visit the campus bookstore in the Stamp Student Union 5. Go bowling and play arcade games at the TerpZone in the Stamp Student Union 6. Get an ice-cream cone at the famous Dairy at Stamp Student Union 7. Take a picture with Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog at their statue in front of the Stamp Student Union
Interested in Signing Up?
Click the button below to go to our confidential sign up form.