What is the Video Chat Project?

  • The Video Chat Project is a three part research study aiming to characterize how infants, toddlers, and preschoolers make and maintain relationships through video chat, specifically with their grandparents. The first part of the study consists of a 15 minute online survey for parents and grandparents about video chat habits. The second part of the project involves both a parent of an infant and that infant’s grandparent completing surveys about  video chat habits, especially as COVID-19 related travel restrictions begin to ease and school and workplaces begin to open. The third part of the study will consist of a recorded video chat interactions and recorded in person interaction between the child, parents, and grandparents.  

Where does the study take place?

  • The study takes place in your own home at your own convenience. The part 1 survey can be taken on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer with internet access. The survey takes about 15 minutes and can be paused for later completion. The part 2 video chat surveys similarly can be completed on your own device at your own convenience. Lastly, the part 3 recorded video chat interaction and recorded in person interactions between the grandparent and grandchild again can be recorded with your own device. We will give you instructions about how to record the interactions for part 3.

Do I have to participate in all three parts?

  • No,  all parts of this project are opt-in. Part 1 of the project is complete, but you can choose to take part in part 2 only, which is 4 online surveys over several months.

Who can participate?

  • Parents and grandparents of children born in 2020 who live in the United States or Canada can participate in this study. A partnered pair has to participate in this study together–a parent of an infant and any grandparent of that infant.

What is the purpose of this study?

  • We are interested in learning more about the video chat habits between infants and their grandparents. We hope to better understand how relationships young children make over video chat transfer to in-person relationships. Additionally, we hope to identify gaps that exist in internet and technology accessibility and education that prevent meaningful virtual grandparent and grandchild interactions.

What happens with the results?

  • As a research lab with Georgetown University, we use the findings from studies such as the Video Chat Project to write papers for publication. Many of our previous publications have informed current screen-use and media usage recommendations for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. We frequently contribute to platforms that provide screen-use advice for parents such as Screen Sense. Members from our lab also frequently share findings with non-academic publications such as The New York Times and Washington Post.

Will I be compensated for participating in this study?

  • For participating in part 2, you will be sent a $15 total in e-gift cards after completing the surveys. If you opt in for the third part of the study, you will be emailed a $10 e-gift card for each of three video chat sessions and for the one in person recording.

How will my responses be kept confidential?

  • All responses will be kept confidential. All survey data will be deidentified and stored on a secure platform. Only authorized researchers will have access to information obtained from all stages of the study. Researchers who are granted access must agree to maintain confidentiality and not use information for commercial purposes. Researchers promise to treat information with the same high standards of care that they treat information collected in their own laboratories.

Who can I contact if I have other questions?

  • If you have any questions, please email videochatproject@georgetown.edu

Previous research that is informing our current project:

To learn more about the previous research from our lab and our collaborators that is informing this study, check out the publications below.

McClure, E., Chentsova- Dutton, Y., Barr, R., Holochwost, S., Parrott, G. (2016). “Facetime doesn’t count”: Video chat an exception to media restrictions for infants and toddlers. International Journal of Child- Computer Interaction, 6, 1-6.

McClure, E., Chentsova‐Dutton, Y., Holochwost, S., Parrott, G., Barr, R., (2018). Look At That! Video Chat and Joint Visual Attention Development Among Babies and Toddlers