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Release: Dec. 6, 2001

UI researchers seek participants for child development study

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa researchers are looking for families with babies born since August 2001 or expected before January 2002 to participate in a five-year study funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health. The study focuses on very young, normally developing children and their families, and the goal is to learn how young children begin to acquire rules for behavior.

The study involves assessments conducted five times in the child’s development--7, 15, 25, 36, and 52 months. At each age, researchers will observe the child once with the mother and once with the father during typical, natural, enjoyable activities. The seven-month assessment will take place in the child’s home. Other assessments will be held in a comfortably furnished, child-safe UI laboratory.

(A photo is available at

Snacks and beverages as well as age-appropriate toys, games and books will be provided. At each assessment, parents will also be asked to complete several questionnaires. Compensation is available. This study is a unique and interesting opportunity for parents to be part of their babies' early development.

The Principal Investigator is Grazyna Kochanska, Stuit Professor of Developmental Psychology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She is an experienced researcher who has conducted several similar studies in the past, funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health.

Although the researchers do not plan to compare the children’s behavior based on race or ethnicity, minority families are encouraged to participate so that the study will include a representative sample.

More information is available online at or by calling the laboratory, 319-335-0500 or Kochanska, 319-335-2409 (collect if applicable). Kochanska can also be reached by email,