Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

participating in PERL's research


Who can participate?

Child Temper Tantrum Studies

We are seeking children between 5 and 9 years old who fall into one of the following groups:

Group #1: Children with Frequent, Severe Temper Tantrums:

  • Children who exhibit frequent temper tantrums (at least three tantrums per week)
  • Tantrums persist for an extended period of time during which the child is inconsolable
  • Tantrums are out of proportion to the source of frustration

Group #2: Children with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder without Severe Tantrums:

  • Children who do not have frequent, severe temper tantrums
  • Children previously diagnosed with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) OR
  • Children who have difficulty paying attention, are easily distracted, cannot follow directions or complete tasks, and are often disorganized AND/OR
  • Children who cannot stay seated, constantly fidget, cannot control their activity level, are highly impulsive, run and climb in inappropriate situations, are overly talkative

Group #3: Typically Functioning Children:

In order to understand children with severe temper outbursts, it is also important for us to include those without such concerns as “comparisons” in our studies. Therefore, we are also looking for children with no behavioral or emotional concerns, to participate in this study. We find that kids often enjoy participating; they learn about science and the brain and especially like receiving a picture of their own brain to keep! 

What does participating in our research entail?

There are two separate visits in our research study. During the first visit, the research staff provides the family with a thorough description of all research procedures and answers any questions that parents or children might have. After this, parents are interviewed by a study clinician (licensed psychologist or clinical psychology trainee) regarding their child’s emotions and behaviors. At the same time, the child completes a brief intelligence screening measure, a questionnaire about his/her behaviors and emotions, and several tasks that assess emotional reactivity and regulation. The child also has the opportunity to practice having an MRI scan in our mock scanner, which looks just like a real MRI scanner without the real working parts. 

The second visit takes place at our MRI scanner at New York University. Now that the child is an expert at lying still in the scanner, he/she is ready to have a “real” scan. All procedures are provided at no costs to participants.

What do families receive for participating in our research?

Families receive monetary compensation for participating in both study visits. The child is also able to earn prizes at each study session. Following participation, parents receive a psycho-diagnostic report based on information obtained during the comprehensive interview, questionnaires completed by the parents, and behavioral rating scales collected from the child’s teacher. Parents of children with severe emotional dysregulation may be eligible to participate in an additional study where they are asked to video-record the child’s tantrum in his/her natural setting. Parents who participate in this portion of our research receive compensation as well as a parent feedback session with our study psychologist. During this session, we provide parents with a “play-by-play” review of the videotape and offer useful tips to help parents manage their child’s behavior with the aim of reduce tantrums over time. 

If you are interested in participating in our research: Please contact Us at (718) 817-0968 or to learn more about our research and determine if your child is eligible for our study. You can also contact our primary investigator, Dr. Amy Roy, at (718) 817-0969, or Dr. Vasco Lopes at (718) 817-2742 with any questions about your child or our research 

Contact Information: Pediatric Emotion Regulation Laboratory 557 E. Fordham Road Bronx, NY 10458 (718) 817-0968

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