Disclosure Statement and Informed Consent

I understand that part of the mission of the Rutgers Psychology Child Development Center is to provide a research and teaching laboratory for the Psychology Department of Rutgers University. To fulfill that mission, my child and I may be asked to engage in the following activities:

            1.  Informal Observation. Students and researchers frequently observe regular classroom activities in order to understand normal preschool behavior. They may also observe parental behaviors when parents are in the Center dropping off or picking up their children. As data is not being collected for research purposes during informal observations; parents acknowledge that it is not possible to “opt-out” or withdraw permission for their child to be observed during classroom activities.

            2.  Assessment. In order to gain experience in administering standardized tests to young children, staff, graduate students from the Graduate School of Applied Psychology, students from the Department of Speech and Hearing, and other University departments/units/programs involved in the study of child development, practice test administration with children from the Center. Testing takes place in a quiet part of the classroom or in an approved research area/room where all activities are easily monitored, visibly and audibly. Results of this testing cannot be made available to parents because the people administering the tests are not yet licensed. Consent forms for participation in practice assessment administration will be distributed to parents for review and consideration. Participation is optional.

            3.  Research Projects. Children will be asked to participate in research projects approved by the Rutgers University Institutional Review Board and the Research Director of the Center. Typical projects involve interviewing children and audio-taping their responses or asking children to perform age-appropriate tasks or games while videotaping or taking notes on their performance. In some cases, researchers may also perform standardized tests. An experimenter typically works with one child at a time and the interview or task takes place in an approved area or room to ensure a quiet and uninterrupted session. Consent forms for participation in research projects will be distributed to parents for review and consideration. Participation is optional.

            4.  Parent Questionnaires. Parents may also be asked to complete questionnaires regarding their children’s behavior and their own reactions. Participation is optional.

I understand that all observation and information obtained in research will be kept strictly confidential. Any written reports of observation or research will not identify children by name. After research is completed, records identifying individual subjects will either be destroyed or kept in locked files. Audio and video tapes obtained during research will also be kept in locked files. Only researchers directly involved in the projects will listen or view the audio and video tapes.

I understand that even if I sign the informed consent form that allows my child to be asked if they wish to participate in research activities, all children and parents have the right to refuse participation in any activity without penalty. Once agreeing to participate, all children and parents also have the right to withdraw at any time for any reason without penalty.  If a child does not verbally indicate that they wish to withdraw, but appears uncomfortable or upset, the experimenter will immediately bring that child to the classroom teacher and inform the teacher about the child’s reactions.

I understand the nature of informal observations of classroom activities are such that research data is not being collected and therefore I acknowledge that by enrolling my child they I understand that my child may be observed for the purposes of training or teaching college students or childcare staff.

I understand that all research and observation rooms are equipped with two-way observation mirrors/windows in which activities may easily be monitored, both visibly an audibly.

I understand that these activities provide minimal risk and benefits to my child and me.

I understand that information about research activities will shared with me in advance so that I may review them before providing consent (if applicable). This information will include details about the particular projects to be conducted at the Center, names and phone numbers of persons conducting research, and information about results from completed projects that may be of interest to parents.

I understand that I can contact Dr. Judith Hudson, Research Director, for the Center at any time regarding questions about research conducted at the Center.  She can be reached at 848/932-3172 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

INFORMED CONSENT

I have read and understand the “Disclosure Statement” which explains the general nature of research and observation activities at the Rutgers Psychology Child Development Center. I understand that more detailed information about specific research projects will be provided to me through hard-copy, email, announcements, newsletters, or through separate hand-outs. I understand the learning, teaching, and training nature of a university laboratory school program and I understand that my child may be observed for these purposes. I give my consent for my child’s participation in such activities, provided that my child also gives their own verbal assent to participate.  I also give my consent for questionnaires to be given to me. I understand that my child and I are free to withdraw our consent to participate in any given research project at any time.  Refusal to participate or withdrawal of consent by my child or myself will not result in any consequences to my child or me.