Daniel administering the child tasks

The DESC Lab seeks to understand how children develop self-control and how it impacts their family relationships and school readiness. Our work can clarify how parents, the home, and community influence children’s self-control and well-being. Our trained research assistants strive to maintain a fun and gentle environment for children and parents who participate in our studies.

The DESC Lab is currently conducting a longitudinal pilot study of preschool-age children’s self-regulation, general cognitive ability, and social-emotional adjustment.  Parents with young children enrolled in Davis childcare centers and preschools are eligible for participation.

  • Are you a parent of a toddler or preschooler?
  • Curious about your child’s development and learning?
  • Like to know what skills improve your child’s school readiness?
  • Volunteer your family to participate in this research and learn more!

For parents of 2.5- to 3.5-year-olds: What will you and your child be asked to do?  Who is eligible?

  • Trained graduate and undergraduate research assistants will administer a series of games to your child to measure his or her self-control and general cognitive skills.
  • We will ask parents to complete questionnaires regarding their child and parenting.
  • The overall time commitment will be approximately 90 minutes the day of the visit, which will occur next to the UC Davis Center for Child and Family Studies in TB-124.
  • If your child is a native English speaker and between 32 and 45 months old this January through June, he or she is eligible for participation.
  • Your child will receive a small gift and you will receive a $25 Target gift card in appreciation of your participation.

Parents who are interested in signing up to participate should contact: Project Coordinator Christine Kelly at 530-341-2163 or choelab@ucdavis.edu

For parents of 3.5- to 4.5-year-olds: What will you and your child be asked to do?  Who is eligible?

  • Visits will take place in TB-124 next to the Center for Child and Family Studies on the UC Davis campus for approximately 2 hours.
  • Eligible children will be invited to complete game-like tasks.
  • Parents will be asked to complete questionnaires and computerized cognitive tasks.
  • Parents and children will be asked to briefly interact with each other in a play session and structured games.
  • Families will receive $50 cash and children will receive small gifts in appreciation for participating.

Parents who are interested in signing up to participate should contact: Project Coordinator Christine Kelly at 530-341-2163 or choelab@ucdavis.edu

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