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For Parents of Research Participants


Call the Early Development Lab at (615) 343-4681 or email If your child is the correct age for one of our current studies, we will schedule your family right away. If your child is not the correct age for one of our current studies, we will enter your information into our secure database of families and contact you in the future.

We welcome all families that are interested in participating, so please feel free to pass on our information to your friends, neighbors and relatives in the Nashville area.

After signing up to participate in one of our studies, we will send you directions to our reserved parking spots (or see the directions link below). A member of our research team will meet you at your car and walk you to our lab, located on the 4th floor of the Hobbs Building on the Peabody College campus.

Sessions are generally 30-60 minutes long, and parents remain with their child for the duration of the study. Your child will receive a small prize for participating.


Q: Where do you get names of potential participants?
A: We demonstrated to the State of Tennessee that our research is both safe and informative. The state then provided us with birth records for some 25,000 children born in the Nashville area in recent years. These records are kept confidential and are never shared with outside individuals, agencies, or companies. We also advertise with flyers on campus and on the Kennedy Center Study Finder.

Q: What do you do with the results of the research?
A: Research results are presented to other psychologists who study children at professional conferences and are submitted for publication in academic journals such as Child Development. Children are never identified by name in these reports, which focus on what children as a group do in the research tasks. The research has also been reported in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Parents magazine, and on television news programs. The research may have implications for early childhood education and give insights into the thinking of very young children.

Q: Can I bring siblings along on the day of our research appointment?
A: Yes! When you schedule your appointment, a research team member will inquire as to whether any additional children will be with you on the day of your visit. If so, we will have extra research assistants available to entertain the children that aren't participating in the study.

Q: Who should I contact if I have questions or concerns about my child's development?

Cognitive and social development:
Vanderbilt Center for Child Development
Phone: (615) 936-0287

Language development:
Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center
Phone: (615) 936-5016

Gifted Children:
Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth
Phone: (615) 322-3457