Study Participation

Project FLIGHT

Families Learning Interacting Growing Healthy Together


Project FLIGHT is a multi-method study focused on identifying how conflict between parents spills over to influence interactions within the parent-child relationship. The project will follow 250 families with a three year old child over the course of a three year period, in hopes of better understanding the impact of interparental conflict on parenting styles. Using self-reports, interparental problem-solving tasks, parent-child interaction tasks, and neurobiological assessments, Project FLIGHT plans to:

  • Examine whether parent’s neurobiological responses to stress during arguments impact parent-child interactions.
  • Identify how positive aspects of the interparental relationship may serve as an explanation for spillover to the parent-child relationship.
  • Explore how parents handle conflict among themselves, and how they interact with their child as a result potential spillover.

The primary goal of our research is to determine how and why interparental conflict affects parenting skills, thus ultimately impacting the parent-child system. Understanding why this happens may lead to new interventions for helping families who experience these problems.

For more information regarding this study, please contact Brianna DiLuigi at 585-275-2991 at extension 302.

Project TRUST

Child maltreatment is a complex, insidious problem that exerts an astronomical toll on individuals, families, and society. However, we know very little about whether early maltreatment hinders a child’s ability to trust and, if so, how that might influence their social development, interpersonal relationships and mental health later on. Learning more about this link can help develop early prevention and intervention strategies.

The TRUST project will assess multilevel aspects of trust in children ages 36-42 months old from low income families. Over five years, the project will recruit 300 children; 150 children will have a history of child maltreatment and 150 will have no maltreatment history. The children and their mothers participate in four sessions to look at components of how children learn whom to trust, self-reliance vs. deference in trust decision-making, and source memory. Mother-child attachment security, theory of mind/false belief understanding, and self-control processes also are assessed. The researchers also conduct three neurophysiological assessment sessions, measuring brain processing of stimuli yoked to that used in the trust assessments.

The measurements obtained constitute a multilevel assessment of diverse domains that are implicated in contributing to individual differences in the development of children’s early trust capacities. Moreover, investigating these domains holds great promise for identifying mechanisms that may contribute to difficulties that young maltreated children are likely to exhibit in the development of trust. The research also will greatly expand the understanding of normative trust development.

For more information regarding this study please contact Stephanie Capobianco at 585-275-2991 or