Baby and Child Lab Database Participation
This information will help you decide if you want to sign up to our database using the online consent form that follows.
If you complete the Consent Form that follows we will add you to our database. This will allow us to contact you when we have research studies for which your child is eligible. Studies may take place in the Baby and Child Lab at the University of St Andrews, or at other external locations. Studies are all conducted by researchers from the School of Psychology & Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews and involve short games, videos or other activities.
What is our research about?
Our research aims to discover how infants and young children learn about and engage in the physical and social world. Some of our tasks involve problem solving or tool-use and others are more social in nature. When researchers from our group contact you for a particular study, we will tell you what the study will involve and how long it will take.
Does my child have to take part once I sign up?
Each time we contact you about a possible study, you will be able to decide whether or not to come in for that study. It is up to you and your child whether or not you wish to take part. We understand that sometimes you will be too busy to participate and will be happy to keep you on our calling list for future studies even if you are not able to participate in a particular study. If you ever want your contact information removed from our database, you can let us know by calling or emailing us at any time. If your child does participate in a study, you or your child will be free to withdraw at any time without providing a reason.
What would my child be asked to do if visiting for a study?
Most studies involve game-like tasks which have been designed to be a fun experience for your child and she/he will be rewarded with a small thank-you gift for participation. Studies with younger infants often involve puppet shows or videos that the infant watches. Most studies involve a single session that lasts between 15 minutes and an hour. For all studies taking place at the Baby and Child Lab, you will either be in the same room as your child or able to watch your child from an adjacent room.
What will be recorded?
We will record your contact information and your child’s name, birthdate and sex in a confidential and secured database that is only accessible to researchers in our group. We ask you to indicate if your child has any special educational need, or disability. This allows us to test all children who want to take part, but to take into account any special needs when conducting the study and interpreting our results.
Will participation be anonymous and confidential?
Only researchers from our group will have access to the database with your contact information. They will have extensive training to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure. If and when you come in for a study, any data we collect at that time (e.g., video recordings of the test session) will be stored separately from your personal data and contact information. We will assign your child a participant number so that your child’s name will not be listed in our data files or on the video recordings.
Storage and destruction of data collected
The data we collect will be accessible by a limited number of researchers in our group via a secure, password-protected database system. The database is secured and administered by the University of St Andrews IT services, and there are no copies made beyond those required as back up in case of technical failure. Unless otherwise requested, your contact information will remain in the database until your child is ten years of age. Around your child’s tenth birthday, if we have research opportunities for older children, we will explicitly ask you whether you and your child would like your information to remain in the database. If we do not hear a response, all data will be deleted from the database when your child is ten years of age.
What will happen to the results of the research?
For each study in which you may be asked to participate, we aim to present the results at scientific conferences and in scientific publications. All results will be based on data collected across participants as a group; individual children are never identified by name. We will not be able to provide you with any kind of assessment based on your child’s participation. As soon as possible, we will post the outcomes of our research on our website so that you can learn more about our findings. We will also send occasional newsletters with summaries of our findings to all participating families.
Practical issues and reward
If you decide to come in for a study in the Baby and Child Lab at the University of St Andrews, if requested in advance, we will be able to provide a person to look after your child’s siblings whilst the participant child is being tested. If your child participates in our research, he/she will be rewarded with stickers or a small thank-you gift, no matter whether he/she completes the task or not.
Are there any potential risks to taking part?
All studies are approved in advance by an ethics board and no risks to participants are anticipated. As explained above, if your child does not want to play anymore or shows any signs of distress, we will immediately stop the study and your child will still receive a thank-you gift.
You will have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have about each study after receiving information about the study and before completing a Consent Form, and you can contact us for more information at any time.
Consent and approval
This research proposal has been scrutinised and been granted Ethical Approval through both the University of St Andrews ethical committee and the East of Scotland Research Ethics Service. In addition, each new study will be approved by the University of St Andrews ethical committee. As this project involves the participation of children, all researchers who will test children will have obtained Basic Disclosure Scotland approval in accordance with the Scottish Government and Fife Council policy.
What should I do if I have concerns?
If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact us using the contact information listed below at any time. A full outline of the procedures governed by the University Teaching and Research Ethical Committee is available at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/utrec/guidelinespolicies/complaints/
Thank you for considering taking part.
Baby and Child Lab Coordinator, School of Psychology and Neuroscience
+44 (0)1334 462063
To sign-up, please complete the basic
details below, taking particular care with the email address, as this is how we
will contact you.
You will have an opportunity to Opt-Out of the database through an automatic link.
You can also Opt-Out of the database at any time by directly contacting
the coordinator (Geraldine Brown) through the website contact page or
directly by email ( babyandchildlab [at] st-andrews.ac.uk.