The Child Development Unit

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

FAQ for Mothers

  • 1. How are participants selected for your research studies?

    Each study has different selection criteria. Contact us to see if you and your baby are eligible to participate.
  • 2. I was visited by a recruiter from your study at the hospital where I provided my information. When should I expect to be contacted?

    We are very glad to have sparked your interest at the hospital. After about 8 weeks, we will send you a friendly letter to you to see if you are still interested in participating with your baby. If so, you can contact us and we will schedule a day and time for you and your baby to come into the lab.
  • 3. How long will the study take?

    Depending on the particular study taking place visits can take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.
  • 4. Will I receive feedback about my child's development?

    The results of our studies are analyzed on a group level by age. Because of this, we do not provide feedback about an individual infant's development.
  • 5. Will I be able to be with my child the whole time?

    Yes. Our research allows for the mother to be with her baby during the entire study, though for portions the child will be seated in an infant high chair.
  • 6. Are there any invasive procedures or risks to worry about?

    Absolutely not. Our studies collect only what you and your baby's bodies produce naturally such as heart rate and saliva. Also, the materials we use, including heart rate and skin conductance sensors, saliva sponges, and an EEG sensor cap, will in no way place you or your baby in harm's way. Regardless, you are free to shorten or interrupt at any time for any reason and the procedures will only continue if and when you feel you and your baby are ready. You may also discontinue your participation at any time for any reason.
  • 7. What will happen with the information obtained as part of your research study?

    All information collected in our studies is strictly confidential and will remain in a locked place at the Child Development Unit, only accessible by authorized research staff in accordance with applicable law. Research obtained in our studies may be published, but neither you nor your child will be identified by name.
  • 8. I have other children at home. Can they come to the study as well?

    Of course! You are more than welcome to bring your other children to the study, though they will not be able to remain with you while the study in being administered. We have a separate play room with toys just next door, and will provide child care in our lab suite.
  • 9. How do I get to the study location on the UMass Boston campus?

    Provided on our website are directions to the campus via subway and car.

    We will inform you of where to park if you are indeed driving yourself and your child. Once you arrive, one of our research members will meet you and walk with you to our lab located on the campus.
  • 10. Will I receive anything for participating?

    We will offer you a small monetary compensation and also a small gift to your baby as a thank you for you participation. Also, we offer free parking and free childcare as needed.