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Parent-Infant Interaction Tasks Adapted for Remote Testing: Strengths, Challenges, and Recommendations

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posted on 2022-12-20, 15:46 authored by Shira C. Segal, Margaret MoulsonMargaret Moulson

The closure of in-person laboratories and decreased safety of face-to-face interactions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic jeopardized the ability of many developmental researchers to continue data collection during this time. Disruptions in data collection are particularly damaging to longitudinal studies, in which the testing of different age groups occurs on a continuous basis, and data loss at one time point can have cascading effects across subsequent time points and threaten the viability of the study. In an effort to continue collecting data for a longitudinal study on emotion development started in-person pre-pandemic, we adapted two parent-infant interaction tasks (free-play task and toy removal task) for a remote testing framework. Our procedure for pivoting these tasks to a supervised, remote online testing framework is outlined and the associated strengths and challenges of testing in this format (e.g., feasibility and implementation, testing environment and task setup validity, and accessibility, recruitment, and diversity) are critically evaluated. Considerations for applying this framework to other behavioral tasks are discussed and recommendations are provided.

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