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 5-10 minute online survey for parents and grandparents about video chat habits. The second part of the project involves both the parent and grandparent for a child keeping a video chat and media log to longitudinally characterize videochat 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 interaction and recorded in person interaction between the child, parents, and grandparents. This final stage intends to identify how video chat habits between a grandparent and grandchild impact the in-person relationship. 

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 5-10 minutes and can be paused for later completion. The part 2 video chat usage log similarly takes place 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 tiers are opt-in. After completion of the part 1 survey, there is a question asking if you would like to participate in the next steps of the project. You do not need to participate in parts 2 and 3 to participate in part 1. We are hoping to have 500 parents and 500 grandparents participate in the survey for part 1, 100 parents/grandparent pairs participate in part 2, and 50 parent/grandparent pairs participate in part 3.

Who can participate?

  • Parents and grandparents of children five or younger who live in the United States or Canada can participate in this study. 

What is the purpose of this study?

  • We are interested in learning more about the videochat habits between children 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 Videochat 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?

  • At the end of the survey for the first tier of the study, you will be asked if you would like to enter your email address for a $50 Amazon gift card which will have a 1 in 10 odds of winning. If you opt in for the second and third parts of the study, you will be compensated for your time.

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