How can I get involved in this study?

This study is now closed to enrollment. Families with children ages 3-5 were recruited from 2004 to 2005, and those same families are still participating in the study today.

What is a longitudinal study?

This study of children’s moods and emotions is a longitudinal study, which means that the same participants come in multiple times over the course of their growth and development. Longitudinal studies provide really great information because we can see how one person changes as he or she gets older, not how different people are at different ages. The information about one person changing over time is the best way to get reliable information about developmental processes.

What goes on during the assessment?

The assessment changes slightly from year to year. Generally, the adolescent participant is audio taped while completing computer tasks, questionnaires, and an interview about their moods, feelings and behaviors. The parent or guardian participant is audio taped while a trained interviewer asks him or her questions about the child’s feelings, emotions, behaviors and development. The audio recordings are kept in locked files and are labeled only with a case number.

How long will this study go on?

The study is currently funded through 2020.

How is our information used?

Ultimately, the information you provide helps doctors better understand the course of various emotional and behavioral difficulties from preschool to school age. It is used to help doctors learn how to better differentiate children and adolescents with normal mood (emotional and behavioral difficulties that are part of the challenges of growing up) from children and adolescents experiencing more serious emotional trouble that warrants professional help.

Where can we find information about the study results?

We list the publishing information for all our papers on our publications page. Most of these papers can be accessed for free on PubMed.

How long will the assessment take?

In-person assessments take around four hours on average, and will go no longer than five hours. Generally, the parent interview is shorter than the child interview, although this is not always the case. If it is not possible for you to come to the lab, you and your teen may also do a separate telephone interview instead that lasts 1-2 hours on average

How much is study payment?

For an in-person behavioral assessment, parent participants are paid $75 and adolescent participants receive up to $135.

What should I do if I have to cancel?

If you need to cancel your appointment, please call us as soon as possible. We are happy to reschedule around your needs. Our office number is (314) 286-2730.  Or contact Brittany at

Does the study include any invasive measures or medication?

This study does not include any invasive measures or medication. If any questions make you feel uncomfortable, please let us know and we can discuss them. You do not have to answer any questions that make you feel uncomfortable.

Will my child’s data be kept confidential?

Your child’s data will be kept completely confidential, so their name will never be used in any report of this research. We audio tape our studies to allow us to keep track of your child’s responses during the assessment. This recording is kept completely confidential and only identified by a random number. Unless we have your permission, only our research team will listen to the recording.

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Can I listen to the audio tape of my child’s assessment? Can I find out what my child said during the assessment?

Because your child’s data is confidential, we will not play you a tape of your child’s assessment as we want to keep the child’s trust for future appointments. If your child tells our interviewers something that concerns us or would put the child in danger, the interviewer and a trained clinician will speak to you while you are still in the office.

Can you release the results of my child’s assessment to our physician, school, etc.?

No. The assessment you and your child complete is a research assessment conducted by trained research staff, not doctors or licensed practitioners. It is not a clinical assessment. Therefore, the results and information you provide cannot be released to or used by physicians and schools.

I have a friend who would like to participate in this study. Are you still enrolling new participants?

Enrollment for this study is closed at this time, but we are currently enrolling for several other studies.

Can I get a letter that excuses my child from school in order to attend the assessment?

We can provide a doctor’s note for your child. Please let us know you need one while you’re here in the office.

What training or education have interviewers/staff received?

Every interviewer in our lab has earned a bachelor’s degree. Most of our interviewers also have graduate degrees in childhood development or psychology.