Development of Self-Regulation in Early Childhood Study
The Development of Self-Regulation in Early Childhood Study examines the emergence of children's capacity to control their behavior, attention, and emotions over the first several years of life. We are recruiting families with children ages 24-48 months from Ypsilanti and surrounding areas. We visit their homes and observe how they interact, measure the child's budding self-regulation, and ask parents to complete a number of questionnaires. We are also collaborating with Dr. Angela Staples and the Sleep and Social Development Lab to examine how sleep affects these behaviors. We plan to follow these families longitudinally to examine the development of self-regulation over time. We hope to learn what factors promote resilience in children so we can inform interventions.
2020/2021 Update: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, data collection was temporarily paused on our in-person sessions. We continued to collect online follow-up data and recruited new families to take part in an online-only version of the study!
2021/2022 Update: A multi-year NIH grant was awarded to continue efforts to study the development of self-regulation and recruit additional participants for in-person data collection.
Students in the lab are involved in recruiting participants, collecting data from families at home visits, and entering and coding data. Students who have contributed to the lab for at least one semester also have the opportunity to use the data to submit to a conference or contribute to a manuscript.
Infant Mental Health Home Visiting Evaluation Project
The Infant Mental Health Home Visiting Evaluation Project is a multi-site collaboration led by Zero to Thrive at the University of Michigan that aims to examine the effectiveness of Michigan's infant mental health home visiting program. In our lab (along with Dr. Holly Brophy-Herb's lab at Michigan State and Dr. Alissa Huth-Bocks at University Hospitals) we are using speech samples and videotaped interactions of parents and children to code parental mind-mindedness, or the capacity for a parent to ascribe thoughts, desires, and emotions to their children that may be different from their own. We are interested to see how parental mind-mindedness is related to other parenting factors and child outcomes, as well as how mind-mindedness might change overtime as a result of the intervention. We are also examining how social support might play a protective role for parents under stress.
Students in the lab are involved in transcribing and coding videotapes, and may have the opportunity to analyze the data once the project is complete.
Predictors of Child Psychopathology and Resilience Study
In collaboration with Kate Fitzgerald, Kate Rosenblum, and Maria Muzik at University of Michigan, the Predictors of Child Psychopathology and Resilience Study hopes to determine the early antecedents of children's internalizing and externalizing problems. Families with preschool-aged children visited the lab and completed a number of tasks looking at their development, including their self-regulation. We also measured their brain activity using EEG and assessed their stress reactivity by collecting cortisol. We then followed up with the families 1–2 years later. Parents and children reported on the child's symptoms and functioning, and children completed a number of behavioral tasks. We are analyzing the data now to learn more about what predicts which children will go on to have behavioral and emotional problems so we can ultimately prevent such problems before they occur.
Students in the lab will work to analyze and present the data.
Kid Power Intervention Study
The SEED Lab also collaborates on the Kid Power Intervention Study, led by Kate Fitzgerald and her team at University of Michigan. Launched in 2017, Camp Kid Power aims to help children between 4 and 6 years old who have anxiety. At Camp Kid Power, participants play a series of games designed specifically to improve their self-regulatory control. The games target three types of executive function: 1) impulse control, 2) selective attention to complete a task, and 3) working memory. Overall, camp is designed to strengthen these three skills, thus helping to reduce anxiety. The research team is examining whether the intervention helps build children's executive functioning skills and lower anxiety, and whether these improvements are reflected in brain activity.
Students in the lab can get involved in various aspects of the Kid Power study.