All Research Projects

Adolescent Parenting

The Adolescent Parenting Project was launched in the mid-1980s to evaluate the social and psychological consequences of teen parenting for both mothers and their children. This project has been funded by NIMH for over 20 years and the Notre Dame Adolescent Parenting Project staff has gathered data on teen mothers and their children from pregnancy through the first 18 years of life. Read more

Adventures in Parenting

The Adventures in Parenting study was funded by Administration for Children and Families (90XP0056-01) and designed to assess a variety of approaches to disseminating and translating empirical information to parents of young children. Read more

BRAVE Young Families Project

In the BRAVE Young Families Project, we would like to know more about the stressful events mothers sometimes face, including domestic violence, in order to better equip our community with the appropriate resources to help mothers and families. Read More

Children and Marital Aggression

Exposure to marital psychological and physical abuse has been established as a risk factor for children’s socio-emotional, behavioral, and cognitive problems. Read more

Chronic Low Back Pain

Marital Therapy & Research Clinic is now accepting people who experience chronic lower back pain and their spouses into a study called “Chronic Low Back Pain.” The spouses will attend to sessions that last about 1.5 hours each in whi/all-research-projectsch they discuss important topics that come up in their marriage, and the person with chronic pain will perform tasks involving simple movements (bending, sitting) while his or her spouse observes. Read more

Communication and Family Relations Project

The Communication and Family Relations (CFR) Project was a pilot study launched in 2014 to develop and evaluate the efficacy of a supportive program for families of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Informed by developmental and clinical research, the CFR program was adapted from material developed for an earlier intervention study for community families with an adolescent child, and promoted constructive interparental and parent-child conflict and conflict resolution. However, interested families are encouraged to contact us for more information about other opportunities to get involved in related research studies, including the ND-SPARC Project. For more information about the CFR study, contact Katie at 574-631-0956 or email us at
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Couples & Kids

The Couples and Kids Project is a three-year prospective longitudinal study that investigated the ways couples handle everyday problems and how their interactions affect school-aged children. This project was funded by the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development. Read more

Emotional Experiences and Behavior Study

The purpose of the Emotional Experiences and Behavior study is to improve how we measure different emotional states, symptoms and personality traits. In particular, in this study we are working on the development of new self-report measures of several different psychological symptoms and traits related to mood and anxiety disorders. Read more

Family Communication Project

The Family Communication Project is an ongoing prevention program that fosters better interpersonal relations, especially around matters of everyday sources of conflict, between the parents and between parents and their adolescent. Read more

Family Interaction Study

In the Family Interaction Study, we are exploring parent-child and mother-father interactions to better understand the social bonds between parents and children and how parents’ biology changes when family members engage with each other. Read more

Family Life Project

The Family Life Project collects data from mothers of young children. Read more

Family Lifestyles Project

The overarching goal of the Family Lifestyles Projects is to examine the extent to which early appearing factors in children’s environments—both health-related and psychosocial—are related to childhood overweight and obesity. Read more

The Fathers’ Project

There has been a growing interest over the last several decades about the role of fathers in their children’s development. Much of the research that addresses the role of the father does so by consulting with mothers about their experiences and perspectives concerning the fathers of their children. Read more

Get the Lead Out

“Get the Lead Out” is a community-based project that aims to assess the effectiveness of a lead poisoning prevention program for families with young children who have low levels of lead exposure. This project is not recruiting new participants. Read more

The Heart to Heart Project

The purpose of the Heart to Heart Project is to learn more about mothers and their preschool-aged children over time. Our prior research tells us that mothers play an important role in children’s development. This study will help researchers understand how mothers and their preschool-aged child interact, about child emotional, social and cognitive development, and about the biological rhythms of mothers and children. Read more

Latino Families and Mental Health Study: The “Sequimos Adelante” Project

The purpose of the Latino Families and Mental Health Study (also known as the “Seguimos Adelante” Project) is to learn more about the mental health of Mexican-origin adolescents and their parents. We are especially interested in the various sources of stress and resilience among Mexican-origin youths and their families. Read more

Me and My Family

The Me and My Family Project is a longitudinal, dual-site study with data collection taking place both under Dr. E. Mark Cummings at the University of Notre Dame and Dr. Patrick Davies at the University of Rochester and is funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health. Read more

My Baby and Me

The My Baby & Me project is a large scale, multi-site prevention project launched in 2003 with funding from NIH. Collaborators include faculty from Georgetown University, the University of Kansas, and the University of Texas – Houston. Read more

My Stories

The primary goal of the My Stories Project is to evaluate individual differences in mother-child reminiscing in relation to children’s memory for stressful and nonstressful experiences, and to children’s socio-emotional development. Read more

Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Project is a longitudinal study of relations between political violence and the well-being of children living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Utilizing an ecological, process-oriented model, the study seeks to better understand the pathways between political and sectarian community violence and ordinary crime, family functioning, and adolescents’ adjustment within a comprehensive theoretical framework. Read more

Notre Dame Babies and Families

This longitudinal study of the development of emotion regulation from infancy to toddlerhood began in 2001 and was funded by NIH. Read more

Notre Dame Families and Babies Study (ND-FABS)

The Notre Dame Families and Babies Study (ND-FABS) provides brief educational programs for families that have recently welcomed a new baby. Families who participate will have opportunities to learn about communication between parents and sensitivity toward infants, and how those things can impact the relationships between fathers and mothers and their infant child. Read more

Notre Dame Family Journal Study

The Notre Dame Family Journal Study is looking for couples who live with their children to participate in our online study of daily stresses in your family. The online study involves an initial survey and then daily surveys for 10 days.
In order to participate, you must have at least one child under age 6 living with you at home. Both members of the couple also must participate. Participants will earn up to $12 for completing the surveys and be entered into drawings to win $50.
Interested in participating? Email:/

Notre Dame Supporting Parent-Adolescent Relationships and Communication Study (ND-SPARC)

The Notre Dame SPARC project is a program designed to support effective communication and strengthen relationships in families that include a child with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). This project is specifically geared toward supporting parents and typically developing adolescent siblings of individuals with IDD by promoting effective communication and conflict resolution between couples and also between parents and their typically developing children. Read more

Parenting for the First Time

The Parenting for the First Time project is a four-site (University of Notre Dame, University of Kansas, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Georgetown University), 5-year prospective longitudinal study of 397 adolescent mothers and their children as well as a comparison group of 285 adult mothers. Read more

Personality Puzzle Project

The Personality Puzzle Project, as its name implies, is designed to solve several puzzles about personality. It has three major goals: (1) To improve our understanding of what personality is, how it functions, and how personality affects our daily functioning. (2) To improve how we measure personality and functioning. (3) To determine how best to combine information about personality and functioning so we can describe more clearly the difficulties that some people—but not others—have in their daily lives due to their personality. Read more

Promoting Positive Parenting

The Promoting Positive Parenting project was launched in 2007 to test the effectiveness of a cell-phone enhanced home visitation program in at-risk communities surrounding the University of Notre Dame and the University of Kansas’ Juniper Gardens Children’s Project in Kansas City, KS. Read more

Reading for Life

Reading for Life is a one-of-a-kind program inspired by the literary character Harry Potter. This program was developed to use these literary works as a way of helping juvenile offenders learn personal virtues and how they can apply those virtues to the stories they read.

Robot Intervention Study

This study is examining the utility of social robots for enhancing social skills treatments for children with autism spectrum disorders.