The research conducted in the Children and the Law laboratory focuses on many aspects of children’s involvement in the justice system. Though the end goal is to better understand legally important processes like memory and investigative interviewing, children’s experience in research typically involves games and fun!
Children can help us learn about how memory works and how interviewers can best ask questions by participating in our studies. Most studies involve children participating in a fun event, like watching science experiments, viewing a video, or playing games. Later, a researcher will ask children to describe the experiments, video, or games. We ask these questions in different ways so we can understand the best way to help children describe things that they have experienced.
Research in the Community
Our research group often works with community groups like day cares, preschools, summer camps, and schools. Sometimes, a letter will be sent home to parents describing a particular research project that their child will be invited to participate in. Children with a completed and signed permission form are then asked if they would like to participate in the research. No child has to participate and we cannot ask children to participate if parents have not first given permission. Children who participate will receive a small prize in thanks for their participation.
Research in the Laboratory
Some of our research involves inviting children (and a parent/guardian) to our research lab at TRU. These research projects usually involve one-on-one interactions with a researcher – playing games, telling stories, learning – and parents are able to watch from an adjoining room. Children who participate will receive a small prize in thanks for their participation and parents will receive a small honorarium.