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Research and Training


Profile of active projects (Winter 2005) at the Children's Centers

Faculty Sponsor Primary Experimenter Title Description of Project
Julie Lumeng Katie Hillman The Children's Snacking Study This project studies children’s snacking behavior in groups to determine if children, like adults, eat more when in the presence of a larger number of individuals. At snack time, selected children will be brought into a research room where regular snack will be available. Children will be seated with a varying number of classmates. The amount of food the child consumes at a single snack period will be recorded. Participating children will continue this type of observation for a few days in a row. When the experiment is completed, the amount of food the child consumes will be compared across different seating arrangments. The results of this study will contribute to the literature on snacking behavior and will have implications for the study of childhood over-eating.
Susan Gelman Laksmi Raman Associational Contamination This study examines if children think that they are less likely to get sick if they contract germs from someone they like as opposed to someone they don't like or don't know. It examines children's understanding of the impact of social relatedness on the transmission of illness.
Brenda Volling Lisa Hohmann Family Transitions Study: Children's understanding of thoughts and emotions This project studies young children's understanding of other people. We are specifically interested in what children understand about other people's thoughts and feelings. Children will be read a series of stories about other children and adults and are then asked about what the person in the story is thinking about, or what the person in the story is feeling.
Karin Martin Karin Martin Observational Study of Socialization Through observation in the preschool we hope to contribute to the literature on how heterosexuality comes to be understood as normative. Given that early childhood is an intense period for gender socialization, it makes sense that it is also where understandings of compulsory heterosexuality emerge, and it is likely that they are linked to gender socialization. Our project will look to see what and how preschoolers know, learn, and resist the compulsory nature of heterosexuality.



Project Study Overviews and Consent Forms


 

Project: The Children’s Snacking Study

Faculty Sponsor: Julie Lumeng
Affiliation: Medical
Experimenter: Kate Hillman
Affiliation: Public Health

Researcher's Profile:

Study Overview:
This project studies children’s snacking behavior in groups to determine if children, like adults, eat more when in the presence of a larger number of individuals. At snack time, selected children will be brought into a research room where regular snack will be available. Children will be seated with a varying number of classmates. The amount of food the child consumes at a single snack period will be recorded. Participating children will continue this type of observation for a few days in a row. When the experiment is completed, the amount of food the child consumes will be compared across different seating arrangements. The results of this study will contribute to the literature on snacking behavior and will have implications for the study of childhood over-eating.

Contact Information:
Results:


Project: Associational Contamination

Faculty Sponsor: Susan Gelman
Experimenter: Lakshmi Raman
Affiliation: Developmental Psych

Researcher's Profile:

Study Overview:
Developmental research suggests that adults use a notion known as associational contamination (the idea that contamination could result when a person comes in contact with something or someone or by associating with them). There are two models of associational contamination: a) the material model which primarily involves germs; and b) the non-material model where the object is not contaminated but has either a positive or negative appeal (most adults don't want to wear the sweater of a murderer even though it is clean). Research with adults has shown that college students think that germs from a person's lover are less potent than the same germs from someone they dislike. However, little is known about how children reason about this phenomenon and if in fact they entertain psychological factors such as liking or disliking a person as having an impact on the contraction of contagious illnesses. This research systematically investigates children's and adults' understanding of associational contamination of material models when it comes to the transmission of contagious illnesses.

Contact Information:
Results:


Project: Family Transitions Study: Children's understanding of thoughts and emotions

Faculty Sponsor: Brenda Volling
Experimenter: Lisa Hohmann
Affiliation:

Researcher's Profile:

Study Overview:


Contact Information:
Results:


Project: Observational Study of Socialization

Faculty Sponsor: Karin Martin
Affiliation: Sociology & Women's Studies
Experimenter: Karin Martin
Affiliation: Sociology & Women's Studies

Researcher's Profile:

Study Overview:
This study will investigate what young children know about romance, marriage, gender, and heterosexuality. There are many studies that demonstrate that elementary school children are beginning to use the concepts of "boyfriend and girlfriend" and "going with" and such. How do these concepts develop? We know a lot about gender socialization generally at this younger age (4-6), but not a lot about how kids learn about heterosexuality specifically. So, for example, we will observe children playing house and dress up, their responses to stories and fairytales (ie Cinderella), and talk about what life will be like "when I grow up." We hope these observations will provide some insight into how children begin to learn about heterosexuality before they begin the "going with" in later elementary school.

Contact Information:


 
University of Michigan Childrens Center for Working Families (UMCCWF)
716 South Forest Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3117
(734) 998-7600
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University of Michigan Children's Center (UMCC)
400 North Ingalls
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0492
(734) 763-6784