Where can I find general information about child development?

Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families

U.S. Department of Education, site for parents

These links are provided for informational purposes only, and are not affiliated with the laboratory or UVa.

I have a concern about my child’s development. Can you help?
The Early Social Development Lab conducts basic research in child development, and we do not offer individual evaluations. If you have a particular concern about your child’s development, please contact your pediatrician.
Who makes sure that the studies are ethically appropriate?
All studies taking place in the Early Social Development Lab have been through a rigorous review process by UVa’s Institutional Review Board, which consists of a panel of University and community members. This panel carefully evaluates proposed studies involving human participants before they begin (and at least once per year after initial approval) to ensure that the research is ethical, and handles any comments or complaints about the research.
Will my child’s data be kept confidential?
Your child’s data will be kept completely confidential. Your child’s name will never be used in any report of this research. We videotape our studies to allow us to keep track of your child’s answers, and also to write down any comments made during the study. This videotape is kept completely confidential; your child’s name will never be associated with it. Furthermore, unless we have your explicit permission, this videotape will be viewed only by the researchers.
I registered my child several months ago, but have not yet been called to participate. Why?

We recruit from ages 0 to 12 years so that we have a pool of interested families from which to draw. However, most of our studies involve particular age ranges – for example, 3 to 6 years old. Your child may not fit into one of the age ranges that we are using at the moment. If you ever would like information about what ages are currently being used, feel free to call or email.

Where is the Early Social Development Lab located?

We are located in Gilmer Hall on the University of Virginia Campus. Please keep in mind that there are gates blocking McCormick Rd during business hours. Parking is available behind the building. When you turn onto Gilmer Drive, go down the hill and make a right to reach the end of the road and park in one of the reserved “Psychology Department” spaces. Someone will be waiting for you outside with a parking permit. For further directions, click here.

Will I find out the results of the study?
At the end of your visit, the researcher can explain to you the purpose and hypotheses of the study. We also send newsletters to parents a few times a year with information about the results of studies that have been completed. Because our research looks at group-level data, we will not be able to provide you with information about your individual child’s performance.
Can I bring my other children with me?

Absolutely! We work with a wide age range of children, so it is possible that your other children will also be able to participate in a study while they are here. If not, they can play in our waiting room while their sibling completes the study. One of our research assistants can stay with them if you prefer to accompany your other child into the study room.

Can I stay with my child the whole time?

For many of our studies, it is perfectly fine for parents to be in the room with the children the entire time. However, sometimes we find that a parent’s presence can be a distraction or will influence a child’s performance. In these cases, you may stay just outside the room and observe your child through a window.

Do we have to come in more than once?

No, most of our studies involve only one visit.