Online parenting studies:
Research you can participate in

Want to participate in research? These online parenting studies are being conducted by researchers in the behavioral and cognitive sciences.

As a rule, each project has been approved by a college or university ethics board. However, before you participate, you should always read the information carefully to make sure you are comfortable with the terms of the study.

New Mothers’ Thoughts of Harm: Prevalence and Relation to OCD and Child Harm   

Nichole Fairbrother, Professor with the University of British Columbia Department of Psychiatry, is seeking new who mothers to participate in an online questionnaire (taking 20-40 minutes).

Mothers must have given birth 0 – 12 months ago, are 18 years or older, and be fluent in English. New mothers must reside in Canada, the USA, Australia, the UK or New Zealand.

The survey is anonymous. The researchers note that they will keep your responses strictly confidential.

The questions will concern the unwelcome, intrusive thoughts that many mothers experience -- thoughts about their babies coming to harm. As research assistant Aida Retta explains:

"New motherhood, particularly the first few months, is an exciting time in a woman’s life. It can also be very challenging and stressful. New moms often worry about their baby’s well-being and are anxious about their ability to care for this new member of their family. Many new mothers also experience unwanted, intrusive thoughts about harm coming to their infant. These thoughts can be very distressing. They are the focus of our research. We are hoping to learn more about how common infant-harm thoughts are, as well as how they are related to new mothers’ metal health, well-being and parenting."

To learn more about the study, and to participate, follow this link:

The pages there include contact information, should you have any questions for Dr. Fairbrother. If you contact them directly, the researchers suggest that you do not provide them with identifying information (like your name), in order to protect your anonymity. 

Social Motivation in Children: An Online Study for Parents

Seeking parents whose children are between 2 and 30 years of age

Researchers at Stanford University are currently recruiting parents of children and young adults between the ages of 2 to 30 to participate in a research study to better understand social motivation in children. 

The study involves completing a few questionnaires about your child. The questionnaires should take approximately 30-45 minutes of your time and are completed online. Participation does not require in person meetings.

To complete the survey, go to:

For more information, please call 650-736-1235 or email the researchers at For general information about participant rights, please call 1-866-680-2906.

Disconnected Parenting in the Digital Age: The effects of smart phones

Seeking parents parents that use a smartphone and have children that are 10 years of age or under

Researchers at the University of Sunderland want to understand how "the expanding use of smartphones in everyday life" is affecting parent-child relationships and interactions. They have a questionnaire for parents to fill out; it takes about 20 minutes. For more information, click here.

What parenting practices are acceptable to you?

Seeking parents who live in the United States, Canada, Australia, or Western Europe

Jennifer Harman of Colorado State University is seeking parents from certain Western countries to participate in an anonymous, online study about parenting attitudes and practices in these countries.

In particular, she wants to "get a better understanding of which behaviors are most acceptable, and which parenting practices are common" among people in these countries. The survey will also include "a few questions about your marital status, children, and decision-making in your relationship."

Her research team will not collect any private, identifying information about you. Your answers will be used anonymously as part of a broader project that will compare parenting in these countries with parenting in other parts of the world.

You can read more about the study, and take the survey, by clicking here.

Parental policies and awareness of video gaming

Seeking parents at least 18 years of age

Dr. Doug Smith of Southern Oregon University wants to "gain a better understanding of parent’s attitudes toward video games and the degree to which they actively monitor and/or supervise children’s video gaming behaviors."

If you are a parent age 18 or older, you can help by participating in this online survey. No personal information will be collected -- just your views -- and you can skip questions you don't feel comfortable answering.

Childbirth fear study

Seeking pregnant women 18 years or older

Researchers at the Perinatal Anxiety Lab of the University of British Columbia are conducting a study of how pregnant women feel about childbirth.

They are looking for volunteers who are pregnant and 18 years or older to complete an online questionnaire about fear of childbirth. In addition, they ask their volunteers to participate in a very brief interview.

If you meet their criteria, and would like to help, you can register here.

Fathers & daughters study

Seeking fathers over the age of 18 with at least one daughter

Dr. Michael Seto and Dr. Kelly Babchishin at the Royal's Institute of Mental Health Research (University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada) are interested in learning about relationships between fathers and daughters.

Their anonymous survey will include questions about parenting experiences, beliefs, and interests. It will also include questions about participant's opinions and experiences regarding offensive behavior, like physical or sexual assault.

The researchers report that they will not be not recording participant IP addresses so an individual who completes the survey cannot be identified.

Fathers who participate in this study will have a chance to win one of eighty $25 Amazon gift card.

To join the study, click here.

Young adult survey: Exploring past experiences, parenting and relationships

Seeking young adults, 18-25, who are not parents and who are not pregnant

Dr Kylie Burke and Carys Chainey at the University of Queensland are interested in learning about the parenting that young adults experienced earlier in life. Their anonymous, online survey takes about 30 minutes to complete. Participants can win $50 for their time.

More information is available here.

Fathers' Talking to Children About Puberty

Seeking fathers with children of any age

Mindy Erchull and Kate Richmond of the University of Mary Washington and Muhlenberg College are interested in how fathers talk to their children about puberty.

Their online questionnaire will take about 15-20 minutes to complete. Learn more here.

Mothers' Views on HPV Vaccination

Seeking mothers of daughters (newborn to age 12)

Researchers at the Department of Health and Social Science at Bolton University in the United Kingdom are seeking mothers’ views concerning their daughters and vaccination against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

Their online questionnaire is anonymous and will take about 5 minutes of your time. Participate here.

Postpartum women's relationships and sexuality

Seeking mothers between the ages of 18-40 who have infants between 2 and 12 months old.

Professor Peter Gray and graduate student Michelle Escasa of the University of Nevada are interested in female sexuality, social relationships, and facial preferences of postpartum women.

Their online questionnaire will take about 15-45 minutes to fill out. You can read the details and give your consent to participate here.

Parenting and child anxiety

Seeking parents who are over 18 and who have children between the ages of 5 and 18

Caitlin Burditt, a graduate student in clinical psychology at the University of Rhode Island, wants to know about your emotional and behavioral responses during times when your child seems anxious.

Her online questionnaire takes about 25-30 minutes to complete. Your answers will be kept anonymous. To participate, click here.