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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

For this study, we are recruiting adolescent (14-17 years) skateboarders who have experienced a medically-attended injury while skating within the last year. Participation involves a 30 – 45-minute online survey that asks questions about how skateboarding influences mental health outcomes after injury. Youth receive a $25 gift card. For more information contact:

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.

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

Poison Prevention Study

Poisoning poses a significant threat for young children, and often they get poisoned by opening a container that they are not supposed to be able to open. Most medicine containers are child-resistant but not child-proof. The aim of this study is to identify the ‘safest’ types of containers to prevent children’s access to medicine. We are seeking children between 5-6 years old to visit our lab at the University of Guelph for about an hour. During this time, we will assess children’s interest in different types of containers and ability to open the containers on their own and after they observe an adult doing so. At the end of the visit, you will receive a $5.00 gift card, and your child will be able to pick a small gift from our treasure chest.

Driving Study

This study involves teen drivers and takes place in a driving simulator at the University of Guelph. We are seeking youth 17-19 years old who have their G2 or G license. We will be studying their attention, physiological reactions, and driving behaviors while listening to different types of music. Community participants will receive a total of $25 in gift cards over the two sessions.

Gadget Study

This project takes place in the comfort of your own home! Do you have a child who is between 2-4 years old? We need your help with a fun research project about how children behave near hazards in the home and what mothers do to keep them safe. You can receive up to $50 in compensation as a thank you for your time.

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.

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!