Welcome to the Children and Parents Study (CAPS)

Montage of babies and parents

Parents and children are invited to participate in the CHILDREN AND PARENTS STUDY (CAPS) in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Iowa.

Do you have a young baby, or are you expecting a baby? Do you enjoy interacting with your baby? Are you curious about babies’ early development?  Would you like to participate in a study of children and families? Please read on to find out about the Children and Parents Study (CAPS)!

Researchers at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Iowa in Iowa City are seeking families with young children to participate in a study of early child development, funded by National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD). 

Who Can Participate in CAPS?

For a family to be eligible, the baby has to be a biological child of both parents, and both parents have to be willing to participate in several visits over the next few years and be able to speak and read English during the visits.  

Pictures of babies and parents

Who is Conducting the Study?

Professor Grazyna Kochanska, Dewey B. and Velma P. Stuit Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Iowa, is the Principal Investigator. Professor Kochanska’s research program has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  She has completed several large projects that have involved many diverse groups of Iowa families, followed over time, often starting in infancy and continuing until school age or even adolescence. Professor Kochanska has published multiple research papers and received numerous awards for her work, including G. Stanley Hall Award for Distinguished Contribution to Developmental Psychology from American Psychological Association in 2017. She is a Fellow of American Psychological Society. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in social-emotional development. 

Professor Kochanska works with a team of students and staff. All members of the Child Lab team have experience and training in conducting research sessions with parents and children. Our utmost goal is to assure that parents and children find participating in our studies enjoyable and educational and that they feel comfortable and relaxed when visiting our laboratory.

Montage of moms and babies

What is CAPS About?

The goal of CAPS is to learn about many aspects of young children’s social and emotional development. We study differences in children’s biologically-based temperament and differences in parents’ caregiving styles, and try to understand how those influence children’s early development. We are particularly interested in how and when very young children begin to comply with their caregivers’ requests and prohibitions, how and when they begin to be able to regulate their own behavior at will, resist temptations, and wait patiently when necessary. We are also interested in how and when children begin to learn to follow rules, avoid prohibited actions even when unsupervised, and engage in prosocial, desirable behaviors. 

What Will CAPS Involve?

Parents and children will be observed as they play together, engage in typical daily activities, prepare and eat snacks, enjoy books and toys, and take part in interesting games, situations, and age–appropriate tasks. The families will participate four times between infancy and preschool age. All visits will be scheduled at a time convenient for the family, including weekends and afternoons/evenings. 

When the baby is 7-9 months old, there will be one 2½-hour visit in the family’s home to observe mom, dad, and baby. Then, mom and child, and dad and child, will come to separate 2-3-hour visits in our laboratory at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in Iowa City when the child is 15-17 months, 36-38 months, and 46-48 months. 

The sessions will be recorded.  Parents will also complete interviews and questionnaires about themselves, their parenting, and their child. 

What is Child Lab Like?

The laboratory is a homelike, comfortable, fun environment, safe for young children, furnished with age-appropriate toys, books, and snacks. 

Pictures of Child Lab

Is There Compensation for Participants in CAPS?

Yes! To express appreciation for time and effort, families will be compensated (approximately $25-$50 per hour, depending on the activity). Parents and children will also get multiple small gifts. 

Where is Child Lab? What About Parking and Transportation in CAPS?

Dr. Kochanska’s Child Lab is located in Spence Laboratories (SLP), in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences of the University of Iowa. Our address is 352 Iowa Ave, Iowa City, IA 52240. 

Spence Laboratories exterior

We are on the ground floor, in rooms G1-G4, G5-G7, and G19-G22

Parking costs will be covered. If needed, help with transportation costs may be available. 

Map showing Spence Laboratories

How Can I Learn More About CAPS?

Questions?  Please call us at (319) 335-0500 or email us at psychology-childlab@uiowa.edu.