Emotion Regulation Visits

As young children develop new skills, it is not uncommon that young children become upset or irritable in new situations and as a result become frustrated and experience tantrums.  For most young children, these behaviors or moods are developmentally appropriate and mild.  For other children, these may be harder to deal with and may disrupt home and family quality of life.  In this study, we hope to identify early signs of when these behaviors, emotions, and language impact young children’s development and when it is appropriate to intervene.

If enrolled in the study, you and your child will complete the emotion regulation visit, in person once each year. This component of the study is separated into the below two parts:

Visit Components

Child Activities

The first part is the child activities, where we will do activities with your child, and you and your child will do activities together. This part takes approximately two and a half to three hours and will be completed in the Developmental Mechanisms lab at Northwestern University in Chicago. These activities will help us learn directly about your child’s mood and behavior as well as how they respond to different situations.

During the child activities, we will have water, coffee, tea, and snacks for you and your child at any time you would like. Feel free to bring any additional food or meals to your visit, especially if your visit runs across lunchtime. You are more than welcome to eat your lunch during the visit. Some of our activities involve food, such as Snack Pack pudding, Gerber Graduate Puffs, Cheerios, and Goldfish. Please let us know if your child has any allergies or dietary restrictions.

Feel free to wear comfy clothes.  Some activities will involve some messy play and you will also be playing with your child at different points. We have diapers and wipes here in our lab that you can use for your child during your visit.


The second part is the interviews, which take approximately two hours. You will complete the interviews over the phone, over Skype or Facetime or at the Developmental Mechanisms lab at Northwestern University.