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Participating in our studies

An adult and a child

Does a study take much time?

Most of the studies involve only one visit of about an hour. Visits can be arranged, on weekdays or weekends, at your convenience.

Where is the Centre for Child Studies?

The Centre for Child Studies is located on the fourth floor of the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo. See Directions. We will provide you with directions to the parking lot adjacent to our building. We will always meet you in the parking lot to escort you to the Centre and help you with any bags or strollers and doorways. An elevator will take you to the fourth floor.

What are the studies like?

In general, the studies consist of simple, informal games that children find fun to play. For example, children might be playing a game with toys, finding hidden stickers, looking at picture books, or listening to stories. The way in which children use their gestures and language during these games can reveal to us very important aspects of their developing knowledge and ability to communicate. All the children participating will receive a small gift and a certificate. To get an even better idea of what our ongoing studies are like, visit our current studies section.

Will I be with my child the whole time?

Yes, you will be with your child or able to watch and hear your child all the time. You can see the set-up of our research rooms in the virtual tour. Sometimes, usually with studies with the younger 1- and 2-year-old children, we have parents participate in the studies because it makes it more fun and relaxing for the children (we would tell you about this at the time we initially call to inquire as to whether you'd like to come to the Centre). In these cases, we can usually learn more about children's cognitive and communicative development and how they are thinking about things when they can interact with someone they are very familiar with.

What if I need to bring siblings?

Your child's siblings are very welcome to come and they will be with you the whole time. In our research rooms, we provide toys and activities appropriate for younger and older siblings.

Will I find out about the results of the study?

We try to publish press releases for all of our studies and provide links to these when they appear in the Centre in the News section. In addition, the director of the lab, Dr. Daniela O'Neill, provides updates about the results of studies at the Centre and other new research and information pertaining to the development of language and thinking in early childhood by following via twitter (her twitter handle is daniela_oneill).

Our studies attempt to understand general trends in development, not to assess the performance of individual children. Names are not used in publications resulting from our research. Our studies are conducted on a voluntary basis. Parents and children are free to withdraw their participation at any time.

We appreciate your support of the University of Waterloo Centre for Child Studies! Each child makes a difference!