Information for Parents

As described on the lab home page, the CSD Lab has many varied projects that involve children. Our projects involve children as they develop from infancy to adolescence. (We also involve college students, but they are enrolled through Penn State classes rather than through parents.)

What's involved?

In general, we conduct our projects in the CSD Lab which is located in Moore Building of Penn State's University Park Campus. Typically we meet parents at the adjacent parking lot and then go up to the lab where we explain the project to both the parent and child. If the parent signs a consent form and your child agrees (assuming your child is old enough to do so!) we proceed with the activities.

Sometimes projects involve only the child. For these projects, we have a room for parents to wait or observe, and an area where siblings can play (with appropriate toys). Alternatively, parents (and siblings if any) may decide to go out for a while and return at an appointed time.

Other projects involve learning about how parents and children interact, for example, in playing with toys or in solving a puzzle. For these projects, parent-child pairs are in a room together (perhaps with an interviewer) and are sometimes videotaped.

Most projects take between 30 minutes and an hour, usually for one session, though sometimes they may be longer.  (For example, in one project we gave children private photography lessons, two hours each, spread out over three weeks.) We arrange times so that they will be mutually convenient for families and lab assistants.

Interested in learning about opportunities to participate?

If you wish to register so that you can learn about upcoming opportunities, please call or send an e-mail as explained on the Contacts page. If you prefer, download a Parent Contact Form and submit it to us by mail or e-mail it back to us at as an attachment.

We hope you decide to become a member of our CSD family!