Psychology Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Families Together study of evidence-based parenting program with families reunified after a foster care placement.

This project was expired on 12/11/2018


To find out about this 499 opportunity contact:

Contact name: Kristin Klansnic
Telephone: (206) 218-3391

Faculty Information

Faculty Advisor: Susan Spieker
Director, Center on Infant Mental Health and Development, Professor Family & Child Development, Adjunct Professor, Psychology
Department: School of Nursing/Family and Child Nursing
Office: South Building, Room 212, CHDD
Telephone: (206) 543-8453

Does faculty advisor meet with students?

If yes, how often? Monthly

Direct supervisor of students:

Kristin Klansnic
Supervisor Title: Research Coordinator
Will 499 students participate in weekly or biweekly discussions sessions about research or project? Yes

Short Project Description

Families Together is a 5-year randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of Promoting First Relationships® (PFR) with parents of young children recently returned to them after a foster care placement. It is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and Dr. Monica Oxford is the principle investigator (PI). PFR is a brief, home visiting, evidence-based parenting intervention designed to improve parenting, reduce children’s social, emotional, and behavioral problems, and reduce referrals to CPS and re-entry into foster care, for newly reunified families with a child under 6 years of age. Reunified birth parents represent one of the highest risk subpopulations of parents whose challenges contribute both to their child’s exposure to stress and trauma and to the intergenerational transmission of impaired parenting, maltreatment, and foster care placement. A sample of 255 families living in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties will be recruited over three years. Participants in the study meet with the Research Visitor (RV) three times over the course of a year, pre and post intervention. Each home visits is approximately 2 hours and includes a structured interview, qualitative interview questions, and videotaped interactions between the parent and child. The Research Assistant (RA) will travel to families’ homes with the RV and assist with the general flow of the visit, videotaping, and with childcare throughout the visit. RAs may also assist with some data entry. RAs will gain valuable experience with aspects of running a research study and working with high-needs families in the context of their homes. Safety training, human subjects training, and good clinical practice training will be provided.

Work Schedule

Min. number of hours/weekstudent must work: 3
Evenings/weekends OK? Yes
Times a student must bepresent/work: Times vary weekly depending on participants' availability
Student commitment: 1 visit (3-4 hours) per week

499 Responsibilities

Working with Data Working with Subjects Working with Animals/physiology
5 % data entry 10 % video taping 0 % animal care
5 % database management 0 % interview subjects 0 % animal observation
0 % encoding data 10 % scheduling appt 0 % surgical techniques
0 % library research 0 % running subjects 0 % histology
0 % data collection 70 % child care 0 % laboratory protocols
    0 % recruiting subjects    


Skills / Experience Preferred

- Students with experience working with infants, children and families encouraged to apply - Comfortable working in new environments and going to participants’ homes - Interest in learning all aspects of research - Ability to work independently and responsibly - Strong organizational skills - Must pass a criminal background check.