Much of UConn's research is conducted in schools, preschools and daycare centers.
We are always looking for more educational organizations to collaborate with. Being on our Collaborator list simply means that your school is willing to be contacted by UConn researchers about new studies being initiated, and is not a commitment to participating.
To sign up your educational organization as a UConn KIDS collaborator and be contacted about new studies as they arise, please complete this form.
Examples of UConn KIDS studies completed at schools include:
The IN/PoWR study
This is a 3 year research project to improve word reading skills in struggling readers. Researchers are testing two different ways to provide instruction, one focused on syllabic units and other focused on meaning units. In Year 3 of the study, researchers plan to use fMRI neuroimaging before and after the intervention to see whether the two types of intervention produce different changes in the brain’s processing of words.
Friendship Dissolution Study
This project analyzes adolescents’ friendships, and reactions when friendships end or break-up. Teens simply fill out an online survey about their experiences with ending a friendship. The findings from this study will provide information about how to recognize unhealthy friendships and the best ways to help teens deal with a friendship break-up.
Healthy Halo Study
This research hypothesized that nutrition and physical activity messages, if used to advertise unhealthy foods, would create a “health halo” effect, (i.e., a healthier perception of advertised foods) and increase children's consumption of unhealthy foods versus healthy foods.
This study is designed to support middle school students who are struggling with reading comprehension in content-area classes. Researchers are working with middle school students with and without learning disabilities (including dyslexia) and working with these students in inclusive English language arts, science, and social studies classrooms that are co-taught (by general and special education teachers). We help teachers implement specific strategies following a clear procedure designed by our team.
Rudd Center research has shown many food companies target ads for unhealthy products directly to black and Latino youth. This likely contributes to health disparities affecting communities of color. This study examined whether black and Latino youth know food marketers are targeting them, how they feel about it, and how it might be affecting their beliefs and consumption of these unhealthy products. The goal is to help policymakers/ advocates reduce food marketing to youth. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Led by Jennifer Harris.
Children were recruited to The Rudd Center to watch TV commercials and answer surveys as well as eat specific healthy/unhealthy snacks. Study findings will be used by public health advocates to encourage companies to reduce unhealthy food marketing to children, especially the potentially misleading practice of advertising unhealthy foods using health messages.
Language Development of Preschoolers
UConn’s Linguistics research looks at the ways that Preschool children acquire particular aspects of their native language. As children grow and their language naturally develops, they are able to use more and more complex grammatical forms. Our team designs studies to look at their developing knowledge of these specific forms.
A UConn KIDS Study at a Preschool
Why should my school participate in research?
The strategies and interventions that teachers and early childhood educators use today exist because organizations like yours participated in research studies like ours. The studies that UConn KIDS researchers conduct helps develop knowledge and understanding of learning that could help children—your current children or those in future generations. Our researchers work hard to create activities that are good for research and also engaging for children. Most researchers are happy to provide your educators with professional development, research reports, donations such as books, and/or small gifts for the classrooms, or other ways of thanking you.
Will students miss time from their regular classroom schedule?
Our researchers will work with teachers and administrators to find convenient times to visit and work with students. UConn researchers know they are guests in your schools and will work with you to schedule times that are appropriate.
How often will a researcher visit?
The number of visits will vary by study. Some studies require only one or two visits. Some studies involve helping children directly, and these studies usually involve more visits. UConn's researchers will explain the time commitment before you agree to participate.
How could my school get started?
Contact the Child Research Recruitment Coordinator to discuss how to get involved (contact info above). The Coordinator will put your organization in touch with researchers who conduct studies that may be of interest. For each possible study, a researcher will arrange to talk with you and explain the study so you can decide whether to participate. If you wish to participate, the researcher’s team will work with you on the other steps in the process, such as obtaining parental permission and scheduling.
What about parental permission/consent?
Researchers will only work with children who have consent from parents. We try our best to get all consent forms returned, whether the parent agrees for their child to participate or not. Participation is completely voluntary and a school, parent or child can choose to withdraw from a study or an activity at any time.
What do schools need to do once consent forms are returned?
If research is being carried out at the school site, then researchers will contact the school/teacher at the return deadline to arrange for collection of the consent forms and begin the research process. If research is being carried out elsewhere (i.e, kids are recruited at the school but study is conducted on a UConn campus), then the school officials role is completed.
What happens after research is completed?
In most cases, the researchers can share the data collected from your organization. Most researchers will also help you to understand how to interpret and use the data. Many UConn researchers are also happy to provide staff professional development upon your request.