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Happy Kids

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the age range?

We invite all families with children 1 to 4 years old to complete our Family Interest Form. 

Our first study visits will occur when children are 3 or 4 years old, and we will conduct these visits over about two years. So, if your child is only 1 year old when you fill out the Interest Form, they may turn 3 and be eligible for a visit before we are finished. On the other hand, if your 4-year-old is turning 5 next week, we probably will not have time to schedule a visit before their birthday, which means they would not be able to participate.


Some children may not turn 3 in time to participate in the PEAR Study. If you think your child may be too young but are still interested in participating in research, we encourage you to complete the Interest Form anyway-- if we are able to include your child, we will!

Who is eligible to participate?

Apart from the age of the children, there are a few other factors that affect eligibility.

We are primarily recruiting families who live in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania (for the Boston University and University of Pennsylvania PEAR sites, respectively). We know that some people in neighboring states live close enough to commute-- however, limiting recruitment to MA and PA makes things simpler for us. Thank you for understanding!

In addition, any child you enter into our Interest Form should (1) be your biological child, (2) live with you at least 50% of the time, and (3) be a "singleton" (not a twin, triplet, etc.). If you have multiple children in our age range who meet those criteria, you can enter multiple children into the form. We ask that the parent who completes the Interest Form is the same parent who will participate in the study with their child. We are recruiting families who speak English at home at least 50% of the time.


If we contact you after you complete the Interest Form, we will send an Eligibility Screener with more detailed questions to determine if you and your child are eligible to participate.

When does the PEAR Study start? How long will it run?

The PEAR Study expects to start enrolling families in early 2023. For the first two years, we will conduct "First Visits" with children 3 and 4 years old. For two years following that, we will conduct "Second Visits" with the same children, now 5 and 6 years old.

Please note that a 1-year-old in Fall 2022 would be 3 before the end of the "First Visit" phase-- which means they could be eligible to participate. Their visit would be scheduled for after their third birthday. 

After completing the Interest Form, some families will be asked to complete our Eligibility Screener. We will only send Eligibility Screeners to families whose children are 3 or 4, so if your child is younger, you may not be contacted for over a year. However, we would love to have you fill out the 5-minute Family Interest Form now if you think you might be interested in participating. 

I received a mailer or phone call. How did you get our information?

We recruit subjects using open birth records and databases, recruiting events, schools, daycares, and more. 

Regarding birth records: Research studies can apply for access to public records, including birth records, through offices like the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. If you received a mailer from the PEAR Study, this is where we got your information.

Can I get there by public transportation?

Boston: Yes! The nearest T stop is Boston University East Station on the Green Line (B–Boston College). The 57 bus route also stops near our building.

Philadelphia: Yes! We are a short walk from the 37th street trolley station and the 40th street subway station. The 30, 21, 40 bus routes all stop by our building.

For both Boston and Philadelphia: If you want to participate but think transportation will be a problem for you for any reason, please fill out the interest form anyway. If you are eligible to participate, we will try to come up with a transportation solution together. You can also email or call us if you would like to discuss transportation. 

Can I drive there?

Boston: Yes! Free parking is available in Lot K of the Warren Towers Garage (access from Hinsdale Mall). A research assistant will meet you there with a parking pass.

Philadelphia: Yes! If you are driving, there is parking at the Spruce 38 Garage at 268 S. 38th Street. Free street parking can be found around 40th and Pine.

When are visits scheduled?

We are happy to work around your schedule! This includes evenings and weekends if needed.

I have more than one child. Can I bring all of my children with me if only one is participating?

Yes! A research assistant with childcare experience will be available to keep the rest of your children company during the study visit.

What if I'm not sure I'll want to participate later?

By filling out our interest form, you are agreeing to be contacted later to talk about the study. You are not enrolling in the study or "committing" to anything. If you think you might like to participate in the PEAR Study, please fill out our interest form.

I have more than one child within the study's age range. Which child should I pick to participate?

Our interest form will ask you about all of your (biological, singleton, etc.) children within our age range. If we re-contact you to ask you to complete the Eligibility Screener, we will ask you to fill it out for one specific child that we have chosen. Only one child per family can participate.

When can I expect the PEAR Study to respond to my interest form submission?

We expect to begin to contact families with 3- and 4-year-old children in early 2023 and will continue to respond to interest form submissions through 2024. We will not contact families until their oldest eligible child turns 3 (at the earliest). We may not reach out to every family that completed our interest form. Regardless of whether you are able to participate in our study, we are grateful for your interest in our research!

When can I expect the PEAR Study to respond to my eligibility screener?

Thank you for completing our eligibility screener! We will contact eligible participants soon after they complete the eligibility screener to start scheduling their first lab visit. Unfortunately, we may not be able to reach out to everyone who is determined to be ineligible for the study. In many cases, children being ineligible will be due to the child not fitting the study's specific recruitment targets at the time of the screener. If you have completed the eligibility screener and would like an update on your eligibility, please feel free to contact your local PEAR site. Thank you again for your time and your interest in our research!

Still have questions?

Contact your local PEAR Study site. We would be happy to answer them!

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