Frequently Asked Questions
A: Yes. You will be with your child at all times before, during, and after the study session.
A: There are no particular risks to you or your child. Our methods rely entirely on behavioral observation and are completely non-intrusive. There are also no privacy risks, as you and your child's name are kept confidential and are never directly linked to any published findings.
A: Yes. We have well-trained research assistants in the lab who are happy to play with your second child in the playroom while you participate in the study. Please just let us know beforehand if a sibling will be coming along.
A: Our current research focuses on children learning mainly English or Spanish as their first language. However, we occasionally conduct studies of children learning other languages, and we’ll be happy to let you know.
A: Our research explores basic developmental processes in children of different ages rather than individual differences. So our goal is not to provide an assessment of any particular child’s language development and we will not be able to give you feedback about your child. But when the study is complete you will have access to general findings about your child’s age group and what factors play critical roles in language learning and comprehension.
A: Dr. Anne Fernald, a developmental psychologist on the faculty of the Stanford Psychology Department, is the principal investigator for our research program. Postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate honors students are all involved in conducting the studies.
A: Our research is funded by a grants awarded to Dr. Fernald from the National Institute of Health (NIH).
A: When studies are completed (which usually takes several months) our findings are discussed with other researchers here at Stanford and nationwide, and presented at international conferences on child development. Then they are written up for publications in major academic journals. Findings from such research not only contribute to a greater understanding of language development in typically developing children, but may also have clinical implications valuable to researchers working with children with language disorders.
A: Once the study is completed, a summary will be posted on our website. You can also call us for a hard copy.
A: Please give us a call. Our Research Coordinator can recommend reading and/or direct you to websites with helpful information.
A: Of course! Please feel free to share this website and our contact information with anyone who may also be interested in participation.