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What is research? 

There are many different types of research that deal with child and family health and development.  Some research is used to design treatments for diseases. Other research helps us understand the mechanisms behind behaviors, diseases, or health outcomes.

Each research study is different. Some studies are large and take place at many locations, while other studies take place at only one location. The person in charge of a study is called the principle investigator or PI. Other investigators usually assist the PI. This may include student research assistants or a research coordinator. Research studies can focus on individual adults, individual children, or entire families. When a study involves children, one or both parents (or legal guardian) must give their permission before a child can participate in a study.

How do I get involved?

Our research partners are recruiting community members to participate in important research studies. You can find more information about these research opportunities below. Clicking on the name of a study will take you to a form that you can fill out to learn more about the study or to volunteer to participate.

Thank you for taking a moment to review our research opportunities. Our work would not be possible without the participation of community members like you!

Current study opportunities:

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) Study. We are currently recruiting participants for a study on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Learning Differences (LD; reading disorders, dyslexia, learning disorders). This study is being conducted by Professor Jeff Gilger at the University of California Merced. The purpose of this study is to find out whether people diagnosed with ADHD or LD perceive what they see differently from those without ADHD or LD. Participants will complete questionnaires and visual perception tasks. To qualify for this study, you must be at least 18 years old, diagnosed with ADHD or LD, and willing and able to refrain from taking your ADHD-related medications for 48 hours. Participants will receive up to $20 for their time. 

Valley Teens as Parents (VTAP) Study. We are currently recruiting participants for a study on teen parents in the San Joaquin Valley. This project is a collaboration between the UC Merced Family Development Lab, Interpersonal Development Lab, and Center for Early Cognition and Language. This study investigates the relationship between teen parents and their own parents and how this relationship influences the development of the teen parents' children. The study involves a single 90-minute visit to the Alliance center. Teen parents and their parents will complete a short survey and participate in a short video-taped discussion about parenting. We will also examine the teen child's language development by showing the child a short video and video-taping his/her reactions. Participants will be compensated for their time. Participants will also receive a UC Merced tote bag with a set of board books for their child. 

Family Communication about Type 1 Diabetes (FCD) Study. We are currently recruiting parents and children for a study on Type 1 diabetes. This study is being conducted by professors Alexandra Main, Deborah Wiebe, and Linda Cameron at UC Merced in collaboration with Valley Children's Hospital. This study examines how parents communicate with their child or teen (ages 10-15 years) about issues related Type 1 diabetes management. This study involves both parent and child participation. Parents and children will be asked to complete a survey and participate in a videotaped discussion about issues related to diabetes management.  Parents will receive $20 and children/teens will receive a $20 gift card for their participation.

Early Language and Social Cognition Study. We are currently recruiting parents who have a child between 1 and 4 years old. This study is being conducted by professor Rose Scott at UC Merced. The study examines how children begin to make sense of other people's actions, how they learn language, and how these two things relate to each other. The study involves a single visit to the UC Merced campus that lasts less than an hour. Children participate in a short, child-friendly activity such as watching a video or reading a storybook. Children receive a small gift for participating.

Infant Vocalization as Foraging for Caregiver Response Study. We are recruiting families that are expecting a baby or a have a newborn child that is less than 2 months of age. This study is being conducted by the Emergence of Communication Lab at UC Merced and UCLA. The purpose of this study is to improve our understanding of how infants vocalize during their first year of life, how their vocalizations relate to the responses they receive from other people, and how these things relate to their language development. For each participant, we will collect a series of full-day audio recordings of the infant in their home at 3, 6, 9, and 18 months of age. Families will receive compensation for participating in the study.

UCSF Poly-Tobacco Study. The purpose of this study is to learn more about why young adults use multiple tobacco products, how they view advertising for new tobacco products, and what educational messages about these products are most effective. This study is being conducted in collaboration with University of California, San Francisco. Participants will need to complete a survey for a chance to be selected for this research study. This online survey takes 5 minutes to complete, and participants will be compensated for their time. You can find the survey here. Individuals who qualify for the study will participate in a series of 1-hour interviews, earning a $100 Amazon gift card for each one.