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Studies for Children

The Child and Adolescent Development Group at Queen’s University has several fun and interactive studies that are looking for children of all ages to participate. Studies are either conducted online or in-person. Click on each study name to the right to learn more about some of the studies that we’re currently running. If you’re interested in participating, please contact us by email or click here to fill out our simple participation form – it just takes a couple of minutes!

AGE GROUP: 5 years 0 months to 6 years 11 months 

TIME/LOCATION:  Approximately 15 minutes doing a questionnaire and about 30 minutes on either Zoom or Gorilla.

DESCRIPTION: We are studying how children's responses to others' needs unfold in the virtual, online world. Children will participate over Zoom and be led through several engaging activities and games. They will also answer questions about animations and stories, and interact with adults and peers. Participants will earn virtual coins throughout the session and exchange them for a prize at end of the call. Caregivers will complete an online survey.

PARTICIPATE: Email for more information and to set up a session appointment! 

AGE GROUP: 3 to 6½ years

TIME: Approximately 15 minutes doing a questionnaire and about 30 minutes on either Zoom or Gorilla.

DESCRIPTION: As more of the world moved online over the past year, we became interested in how children interact online. If you agree to participate, there are two parts to this study. The first part is a questionnaire filled out by a parent or guardian. The questionnaire asks about demographic information, your child’s temperament, screen time, and your thoughts about wealth. During the second part, you and your child will meet with an experimenter over Zoom. From there, some children will continue the session on Zoom and other children will switch to our online scientific testing software Gorilla. Throughout these sessions, your child will make decisions in several game-like activities. 

PARTICIPATE: Email for more information and to set up a session appointment! 

AGE GROUP: 12 to 18 years

TIME: In the total, the study will take approximately 2 hours to complete.

DESCRIPTION: In the online study Investigating Depressive Symptomatology in Adolescents with ASD and ADHD we are investigating the overlapping symptoms between depression and developmental disorders such as ASD and ADHD. We are looking for adolescents both with and without depression and with and without ASD or ADHD between the ages of 12 and 18. We will also have the adolescent’s caregiver participate in the study. Please note, if your child is non-verbal we would still love to have you participate in the study. We will just skip their portion of the questionnaire.

Adolescents will be asked to complete a questionnaire about their feelings over the last two weeks. This will take approximately 30 minutes. We will also have the caregivers fill out two questionnaires about how they believe their child has been feeling over the past two weeks and over the past six months. This should take approximately an hour and a half. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the study will be taking place over a video conferencing program called Zoom.

For participation, participants will each be provided a $10 Amazon E-gift card and caregivers of the participants will be provided a $20 Amazon E-gift card.


AGE GROUP: 6 to 21 years old

TIME/LOCATION: This study will take approximately 2.5 hours of cognitive assessments (IQ, Language, motor skills, etc.) for the child; 1-1.5 hours of parent questionnaires and 0.5 hour of parent interview at the same visit.

DESCRIPTION: This is a province-wide study on how genes affect the brain, body, and behaviour, and how to use this information to develop new treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders and ADHD (POND website). We are looking for typically developing children AND children with a diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder. We have many criteria that the child needs to meet to participate in the study. Please contact us to learn more about the study and see if your child is eligible to participate.

The child would complete a series of assessments and the parent would do an interview and questionnaires at the same visit. We would collect a genetics sample from the child (saliva sample) and blood (not mandatory). We are located at 191 Portsmouth Avenue (Ongwanada Resource Centre) in Kingston.

Connect with us to participate in this study

AGE GROUP: 12 to 15 years

TIME: Approximately 1-hour on campus at Queen's University

DESCRIPTION: The goal of this study is to understand how teens pay attention to emotional faces and voices. Participants will be asked to bring a friend and one of their parents/caregivers with them to the lab (we will need contact information for the friend's parent/caregiver to obtain parental consent for their participation prior to the study visit). The study involves an attention game and/or an emotional expression task, as well as some questionnaires. Participants receive $10 (cash or e-gift card), and friends receive $5 for their time.

Connect with us to participate in this study

AGE GROUP: 10 to 15 years

TIME/LOCATION: Two separate 1-hour sessions, spaced approximately one year apart. Sessions occur on campus at Queen's

DESCRIPTION: The goal of this study is to investigate how people use their facial expressions and tone of voice to communicate their emotions to others. To do so, we will ask participants to complete an emotional expression task and a series of questionnaires. We will also ask participants if we can collect a hair sample as a measure of pubertal status. The study visit lasts approximately 1 hour. Participants will be asked to come back for a second visit 1 year later. Youth will receive $10 (cash or e-gift card) for the first visit, and $20 for the second.

Connect with us to participate in this study

AGE GROUP: 11 to 14 years

TIME/LOCATION: Approximately 45-minute online study (completed asynchronously)

DESCRIPTION: The goal of this study is to understand youth's perception of other teenagers' responses to bullying. The study involves a vocal perception task and questionnaires. A $10 e-gift card is provided as compensation.

Connect with us to participate in this study

Questions that we are currently examining

With your help, we are examining questions such as:

  • How does prosocial behaviour develop? What encourages or discourages young children to help others?

  • What determines how children learn from others? Who do children learn the most from, and what exactly are they learning?

  • How can we best explain the social difficulties facing children with autism?

  • What forms does bullying take in today’s world? How might we best discourage playground and cyber-bullying?

  • Why do teenagers react so emotionally? How do teenagers become depressed or anxious?

  • How do teenagers express their emotions to others? How do they learn to understand their peers’ emotions and respond accordingly?

Frequently Asked Questions

Click for answers to many of the most frequently asked questions.

  • A team of students and professors interested in finding out what infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents know about the world around them.

  • Our research provides insight into how people grow, learn and come to interact successfully in the world.

  • The findings from our research have important implications for how best to educate children and how to help children with special needs.

  • Visiting the Queen’s University campus OR join us for our online studies.

  • Duration ranges from 10-20 minutes (for our youngest participants) up to 2-2.5 hours for adolescents.

  • All research with young children is conducted in the form of a game. Adolescent studies may involve interviews or computer-based activities. The remainder of the time is spent explaining the study to parents and answering any of your questions.

  • Our laboratories are family-friendly and set up to allow parents to view and/or be a part of the study.

  • As a thank-you for participating, children receive a token of appreciation at the end of the session.

  • Contact us to join our participant database – our researchers will reach out to you when studies become available.

  • Come to Queen’s University OR join us online to participate in our fun and interactive studies.

  • Parking is provided and siblings are always welcome.

  • Our scheduling times are flexible and meant to accommodate you.

  • We test weekdays, evenings, and weekends year-round.

Science Rendezvous!

Visit us at Science Rendezvous in person, Saturday, May 13, 2023 at the Leon’s Centre in Kingston.

Check out our Science Rendezvous Activity Book below. Click the download icon in your browser to save your own copy of the Activity Book!

Science Rendezvous Activity Book

Science Rendezvous Activity Book (PDF, 4.1 MB)

Contact Us

If you’re interested in participating, please contact us by email or click here to fill out our simple participation form – it just takes a couple of minutes!


The Child and Adolescent Development Group is located in the Humphrey/Craine buildings at 62 Arch Street, at Queen's University. Arch Street is a one-way street that runs south from Union Street to Stuart Street. You can reach the parking area by making your first right as soon as you turn onto Arch Street. A student will be waiting and will direct you to a reserved parking spot behind the buildings.

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Circle Time

Circle Time PosterJoin us for fun online sessions for kids of all ages. We play games, sing songs, tell stories, and do crafts – all over Zoom! Sessions are free and open to all to attend. Register for one session, five sessions, whatever works for you and your family.

Sign up here:

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Once you register, we’ll send you an email with a Zoom link and any instructions for that week’s Circle Time activities. We hope to see you there!