Research Projects

Roadside Training Study

Over the last few years we have been using a virtual reality system here at the University of Guelph to study children’s street crossing behaviour in addition to teaching them safe street crossing practices. We have seen great success from this training system and have since created a roadside training program that is based on the same fundamentals that are taught in the virtual reality system. Our goal is to investigate whether a roadside training program can be equally as effective as our virtual reality system in teaching children where and how to cross the street safely. For this study, we are looking to recruit children 7 to 9 years of age. Participants will be invited to attend three sessions. Children receive compensation after each session, as a token of our appreciation for seeing the study through. Due to the nature of this study, it is necessary for the parent or guardian of the participant to have access to a vehicle in order to drive them to various roadside locations throughout the community. Watch the video below to learn more about our Virtual Reality program.

Mood and Risk Taking Study

This study is examining how mood influences children’s risk taking behaviors and if exposure to safety messages can reduce risk behaviors. For this study, we are looking to recruit children 7 to 9 years of age. Participants will be invited to attend one session at the Child Development Research Unit at the University of Guelph campus. The session typically takes one hour to complete, and at the end of the session, children receive compensation as a token of our appreciation.

Teens Driving With Peers

This study takes place in a driving simulator at the University of Guelph. The primary aim is to understand how having peers in the car influences teen drivers. We are seeking pairs of friends between 17-19 years old, and one must hold a G2 license to drive in the simulator. The pairs will drive together in two sessions, and during one session music will be playing. The driver will wear two skin conductance sensors on their left wrist while driving so we can monitor arousal level and relate this to driving performance. Participants receive compensation for their participation.

Children’s Experiences in the Kitchen

This study investigates children’s experiences and activities in the kitchen. We will be conducting online surveys for parents of 10-11 and 13-14 year-olds regarding their child’s kitchen practices. We also plan a home visit during which the parent and child will complete selected activities in the kitchen. Children do not need to have any prior cooking experience to participate – everyone is welcome! Parents and children will each receive compensation for their participation.

2-Lane Road Crossing Study

The CDRU would like to invite your child to participate in a virtual reality road crossing study that examines the factors that influence children’s risk of injury when crossing the street. We are seeking 8 – 10 year old children (cannot have participated in the Safe Peds program)
Time commitment:  2 sessions, each 1.5 – 2 hours in length for a total of 4 hours maximum
Incentive: $10 for their first session, $15 for their second session, for a total of $25.

Getting to Know What It’s Like for First-Time Parents

We are seeking first-time parents of children under 4 years-old to participate in an online study. This 1.5 hour study will help us learn about the challenges facing first time parents and ways to support these parents of young children. Parents receive compensation for their participation.

Safety Rule Negotiation Study

This 1.5 hour online study investigates how pre-teens and teenagers negotiate safety rules with their parents, and how parents negotiate these rules with one another. We are seeking children 11, 12, 15, or 16 years old for this study. Both parents must be living in the same house as the child, in Ontario. This study involves an interview, some questionnaires and some fun negotiation activities. Parents will receive a $20 gift card and the child will also receive a $20 gift card.

Preparing Children to Cross Streets on Their Own

We are seeking parents of children 5-10 years old to participate in a 30-minute online interview. This study seeks to interview about how parents prepare their young children to cross streets safely and on their own. Incentive information will be provided upon further inquiry.

Teaching About Home Safety

This study interviews mothers and fathers to gather their impressions on strategies they use to educate children about safety, including if their teaching strategies differ for sons and daughters. We are seeking parents of children 5-12 years old to complete a 30-minute online questionnaire. Incentive information will be provided upon inquiry.

If you and your child are interested in participating in any of these studies, please do not hesitate to contact us!