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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.

Skateboarding Study

We are currently recruiting adolescent skateboarders who have been injured while skating within the last year for a research project on skateboarding and mental health! The aim of this research is to learn more about the relationship between skateboarding injuries and mental health in order to better support the psychological wellbeing of skaters, and to encourage skateboarding safety. This project is a brief (45 minutes maximum) online survey that asks questions about how skateboarding influences mental health outcomes after injury, both positive (e.g., the things skaters love and value about the sport), and potentially negative or challenging as they recover from injuries (e.g., feelings of sadness/anxiety after getting hurt). If you’ve been injured while skating within the last year (or know someone who has) and meet the following criteria we would love to hear from you! Everyone who fills it out will be entered into a draw  for your participation! To participate, you must: Currently be living in Canada, be between the ages of 14 and 17 years, and have experienced a medically attended injury when skateboarding within the last year (e.g., needed to see a doctor, physiotherapist, etc.).

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.

Cool 2 Be Safe Junior Program

At the Child Development Research Unit (CDRU) we are working to develop effective programs to prevent injuries and promote children’s health. In the past, we have developed a successful program to prevent fall-risk behaviours on the playground for children 8-12 years old. We are currently working on developing a similar program for younger children. For this study, we are looking to recruit children 4 to 6 years old. Participants will take part in four short interactive lessons with a research assistant from the CDRU. The lessons will be taught in English and will be 30 minutes in length. For each session that the child attends, they will receive a small reward (e.g., stickers, erasers) to thank them for their participation. The parent or guardian will also receive a summary of our group findings after the study is complete.

Skate Park Study

We are interested in how skate parks are designed and how children use them, so we are observing the kinds of behaviours youth engage in while they’re skateboarding. In particular, we are observing the types of tricks they are completing on different parts of the skate park, as well as how they use different components of the skate park (for example, what are they doing on rails, ramps, etc.). Our goal is to develop a comprehensive listing of the tricks that children do on each feature of the skate park and to use the information to develop guidelines for the design of safer skate parks

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