SCU calls on parents for research

PARTICIPANTS are needed for two research projects being undertaken at Southern Cross University in Coffs Harbour.

One project is on the effects of concussion in children and another is on social information processing and behaviours of primary school children.

Psychology lecturer Dr James Donnelly said they were looking for support from parents and their children to better understand these two important areas of study.

Issues being addressed are:

What are the persistent effects of concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries in children of various ages? How can we best measure those effects and how many symptoms typically ascribed to concussions actually occur in children with no head injury history?

How can we best measure social information processing and high-level thinking or executive functioning in children and adolescents?

Dr Donnelly said they had begun recruiting but still needed participants in the project.

“The assessments are free and will help us better understand some very important aspects of measuring high-level thinking skills in children and teens from both the young person’s and the parents’ perspective,” Dr Donnelly said.

“The project involves having participants complete some screening questionnaires we can send them via email, a couple of others we can send later and some internet-based testing of response speed on some computerised tasks for the young people involved.

“We are very fortunate to have support from SCU honours and graduate students and a New York company called Headminder Inc. which developed an online screening tool for concussion so we can offer the computerised testing for free at this point.”

If you are interested in being involved or have any questions, contact Dr Donnelly on 02 6659 3962 or email

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