Parent-to-child anxiety transmission in early childhood (PCAT)

The Cognition, Affect, and Temperament (CAT) Lab is seeking undergraduate research assistants to assist with data collection for a longitudinal study on parent-to-child anxiety transmission in early childhood. Anxiety can emerge as early as pre-school age (4-6) and is often linked to anxiety in the parent. The study examines patterns of brain and behavioral synchrony in parent-child pairs as they complete puzzles together and other social activities over 2 years. To do this, we collect data using fNIRS, EEG, ECG, mobile eyetracking, and video recordings. Participating families visit the lab 3 times to complete a series of parent-child tasks and independent tasks while wearing the various data collection tools mentioned. All are encouraged to apply, but we are particularly interested in those who can help in Spring 2023 and future semesters.

University Park
Work Setting(s): 
On campus
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Description of responsibilities and minimum qualifications: 

Undergraduate research assistants (URAs) will primarily help with data collection. Data collection tasks include conducting Zoom interviews with parents, setting up the testing space, equipment setup (e.g., fNIRS, EEG, ECG, mobile eye tracking), and interacting with families. Additional tasks may include recruiting families, scheduling visits, and coding data. URAs will receive training for all the tasks listed. Because this study involves children, all URAs wil be required to obtain the following background checks/clearances: PA Criminal Background Check, PA Child Abuse Clearance, and FBI Clearance.

URAs are required to commit 3 to 9 hours/week (depending on volunteer or for-credit status) and 2 semesters. URAs may also be asked to assist with running visits on weekends.

Available Term(s): 
Fall, Summer, On-going
Position Type(s): 
Credit, Volunteer
Number of positions available: 
Application Instructions: 

Students interested in working on the PCAT Study and/or joining the CAT Lab can complete this application:

Note: At the end of the application, please indicate whether you are submitting a general application for the CAT Lab or if you would like work specifically on the PCAT Study.

For questions, please email project coordinator Harmony Nguyen (

Last Updated: 
October 5, 2023