Study of Emotional Learning across Development

Brief Description: 
In this study we want to learn about how children and adolescents learn about safety and danger through their mother's experiences with the environment. We are also hoping to learn how emotional learning through social means changes across development. Email: Phone: (206) 221-8030
Eligibility for Participation: 
We are recruiting children and teenagers (6-16 years) and their biological mothers.
Participation Details: 
Participation in this study involves one session of up to 3 hours at the University of Washington with both the mother and child/teen. During the campus visit, both the mother and child will complete tasks on a computer involving looking at pictures of different people and objects as well as listening to sounds and descriptions. In addition to the behavioral tasks, both the mother and child will fill out questionnaires that assess basic information about family background as well as common thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and experiences.
Full Description: 
Understanding safety and danger cues in the environment is critical for survival. Variation in the development of this ability to learn about safety and danger has only recently been studied in humans. Understanding the developmental patterns in emotional learning is important because patterns of emotional learning are thought to be an underlying cause of anxiety disorders and therefore have important implications for prevention, treatment and early identification of anxiety in children and adolescents Children and adolescents often acquire emotions through indirect observational or instructional experiences (i.e. seeing parent fearful of a dog or hearing that dogs are dangerous) rather than through direct experience (e.g. being attacked by a dog themselves). This study focuses on this social emotional learning mechanism and asks the question of how the ability to learn emotional responses develops from childhood into adolescence. We will acquire behavioral data from both the mother and child and will additionally acquire physiological information from the mother and child (i.e. skin conductance, heart rate, eye tracking), and questionnaires about mental health.
Research Contact: 
Email: Phone: (206) 221-8030
Mom will receive $30, and child will receive $30.
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