Current Research Projects

Child and Adolescent Social-Emotional Development Study


This study focuses on how parents can help foster more positive development of social and emotional competencies as children grow. Participants in the study will complete ratings and behavioral tasks on two occasions, approximately one year apart (visit lengths = ~2.5 hours), and parents will complete daily ratings for a two week period following the visits.


Parent questionnaires involve multiple questionnaires on their child’s social, emotional, behavioral, and medical functioning, and their own stress, emotions, and parenting practices. Families will be provided with feedback and a report detailing the findings of the mental health and academic evaluation following the visits (30 minute feedback visits). 

Your family will be compensated up to $200 for completing all parts of the study, and your child will be given a small prize at each visit.


If you would like to learn more about the study, please contact the CALMER Lab at or 540-231-8511.

Middle School Coping Program

We are currently offering a free, online coping program for middle school students to help students cope with the stresses of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the transition back to school in fall 2021.

Additionally, we are recruiting for a research study (IRB # 21-022) that seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the RELAX (Regulating Emotions Like An eXpert) Coping Program.

The RELAX Coping Program targets coping, communication, and conflict management skills for use with adolescents who struggle to manage big emotions like anger, frustration, worry, and sadness. The RELAX Coping Program consists of an interactive website with 5 social-emotional learning modules:

  1. Managing Your Emotions

  2. My Coping Skills

  3. How Emotions Influence Thoughts and Behaviors

  4. How to Respond During Conflicts

  5. Perspective Taking and Conflict Resolution.


In these modules, conflict refers to any disagreement, misunderstanding, or conflictual situation adolescents may have with their peers, teachers, or parents (e.g., how much time the adolescent can spend playing video games, when school work needs to be completed, what sleep schedules should look like, engaging in safe social interactions).

Your family can up to $30 for completing the online surveys as part of this study.

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Recently Completed Studies

Telehealth RELAX Intervention Pilot Study - The RELAX intervention targets emotion dysregulation and family conflict in families of adolescents with ADHD. RELAX consists of 8 weekly 90 minute groups for parents and adolescents. With a review session 1 month and 6 months after the groups are completed.We recently finished the telehealth RELAX intervention pilot study for middle schoolers with ADHD (n = 20). We have applied for additional funding to continue to provide this opportunity for families and hope to run more groups in winter  and spring 2022. If you would like to be contacted when we begin recruitment, please email us at

Teleworking COVID-19 Impact Study - Working with Dr. Charles Calderwood and the Work Stress and Recovery Lab, this study sought to better understand how living through the COVID-19 pandemic may affect work, family, parent, and child functioning. Parents completed rating scales about spring 2020 stay-at-home orders and rating scales during fall 2020 after the transition back to hybrid schooling and in person work for many parents. Additionally, they provided daily ratings on weekdays over a 2 week period so we could better assess daily interactions between parent, work, and child functioning.

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