Participate in Developmental Studies

Studies for Children and Adolescents

The Child and Adolescent Development Research Group at Queen’s University has several fun and interactive studies that are looking for children and adolescent participants. Studies are either conducted online or in-person. Click on a study below to learn more about the types of studies we run and what participating in a study entails. If you’re interested in participating, please contact us by email or fill out our Participation Form to be included in our database of potential participants – it just takes a couple of minutes!

NOTE: We will save your contact information in a secured location, and it will only be used to contact you to let you know of an upcoming study that your child may be eligible for. We will never share your information. The database has been reviewed for ethical compliance by the Queen’s University General Research Ethics Board (GREB).

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: 2 x 2-hour visits, and we will ask participants to come back for a second set of visits 1 year later.

DESCRIPTION: We are interested in investigating how teens grow the ability to understand other people’s emotions, based on their facial expressions and tone of voice. The study involves 2 x 2-hour visits. In the first visit, we will ask participants to bring along one of their friends and caregivers. Teens will be asked to complete an emotional expression task, memory task, answer prompts about their thoughts during the study, complete a computerized “attention game”, and fill out questionnaires. Friends and caregivers will be asked to do an emotional expression task and fill out questionnaires too! On their second visit, teen participants will complete an emotional recognition and rating task in an MRI scanner (participants will be screened to ensure they can complete an MRI scan safely). We will also collect a hair sample as a measure of pubertal status. Additionally, participants will be asked to come back for a second set of visits 1 year later. Youth will receive $100 for the first set of visits (and a picture of their brain!), and $120 for the second set. Their friend will receive $40 for accompanying them to the first visit, and parents will receive $20 and be provided parking vouchers for Queen’s campus.

Connect with us to participate in this study

Questions that we are currently examining

  • 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.

Contact Us

If you’re interested in participating, please contact us by email or follow this link to fill out our 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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