Study Questions

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. 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 more reliable. That’s why we ask the same people to participate year after year.

What goes on during the assessment?

The assessment changes slightly from year to year. Generally, the child participant is videotaped while playing games, responding to stories, watching video clips and answering questions about his or her 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. There are also some videotaped tasks with both adult and child. The video and 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 2014.

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 with normal mood (emotional and behavioral difficulties that are part of the challenges of growing up) from children 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 may also do a telephone interview instead (which only involves the parent) that lasts 1-2 hours on average. We also ask participants to do six-month follow up telephone interviews between annual lab assessments, which take around 45 minutes.

How much is study payment?

For an in-person assessment, parents are paid $120. Children receive $50 as well as other toys and prizes. Annual telephone interviews pay $50 to the parent. If parents are chosen for and complete a six-month follow-up telephone interview, they are paid $25.

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.

I have other children. Should I bring them?

If you cannot arrange for child care for your other children, we can arrange for it here at the office. However, please let us know in advance if this will be the case so we can make sure to have enough employees available.

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

We have changed our address or phone number.

Please call or e-mail our office with your updated information.

Can I view the 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 show you a tape of your child’s assessment as we do 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. We are currently enrolling for several other studies. Please see these links for details.

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 at least a bachelor’s degree. Most of our interviewers also have graduate degrees in childhood development or psychology. You can look up each individual interviewer on our web site.