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The Childhood Personality and Behavioral Outcomes Study

The Child Personality and Behavioral Outcomes Study (CPBS) is interested in looking at individual differences in personality traits in children and how those personality traits are related to the children's behaviors as they transition from middle childhood to adolescence. Participants spend time in the lab answering questions about their personalities, relationships, and behaviors. The participants also play some interactive games that are designed to reflect their own individual personalities. The study is also interested in looking at how biological influences, like genes and hormones, influence the children's personalities. Through the combination of questionnaires, interviews, and interactive games we are able to study how children’s personalities influence their thoughts, feelings, and relationships. We are currently recruiting a large number of children and their parents to participate in our study at the University of Houston’s main campus. The visits last approximately 3.5 hours and they include a pizza and soda break. Participants are compensated for their time. If you have children between the ages of 8-10 and are interested in participating in the study please contact us at 

The Texas Twin Project

A collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin, the Twin Project is an on-going study of child and teenage twins in Austin and Houston. We think twins are fascinating! The purpose of this study is to better understand how children and adolescents grow up to be healthy adults. We are specifically interested in what aspects of schools, neighborhoods, and families might promote children’s learning and academic achievement and might protect against mental health problems. Twins also allow us to study whether things like interests, personality, achievement, and behaviors are influenced by genes versus the environment (i.e., “nature” vs. “nurture”). We are recruiting a large number of twin pairs and their parents to form The Texas Twin Project. So if you have twins (or other multiples) in grades Kindergarten to 12, you and your family are invited to be part of our study. Your family can earn up to $50 ($25 for each twin!) by participating in our study – and you can participate in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Please contact us at if you would like to learn more about this study! The Texas Twin Project is funded by the Duncan Foundation.

Project F.A.D 

Project F.A.D. (Friends and Adolescent Decision-making) is interested in looking at individual differences in personality traits in adolescence and how these traits and adolescents’ peer groups relate to motivations for risky behaviors, and the influence friends have on those behaviors.  We are collecting online questionnaires about things like personality, relationships and behavior, and using a social networking study design to help us understand how peer groups work.

The Personality Development and Academic Outcomes Study

The Personality Development and Academic Outcomes Study (PDAO) is a research study investigating how different aspects of children's lives are related to success in school. We are inviting all parents of children and adolescents ages 6 to 17 to complete a survey about their child’s personality, motivation, and other interests and behaviors. Older children (ages 11 to 17) will also have the opportunity to fill out a self-report survey. Combined with information about the child’s educational achievement, the questionnaires on these surveys will help to shed light on the factors that promote learning and academic success. The surveys are completed at home -- no appointment needed! -- and each participating family can receive up to $35 to thank them for their time. If you would like more information about the study, please send us email at or give us a call at 713-743-4847.

CPBS Thin-Slice Study

The thin-slice project is part of the bigger Childhood Personality and Behavioral Outcomes Study (CPBS). When children visited the lab during their intake visit and the second follow-up in Toronto, they participated in a variety of tasks designed to elicit various personality traits. Tasks were around 2-5 minutes long and included doing spelling and math activities, and making up stories based on picture cards. We use these clips as another way to get information about the children's personalities, in addition to parent- and self-report. Previous research has shown that these thin-slice ratings of personality are surprisingly accurate (Borkenau et al., 2004) and we think that they might represent an efficient and innovative way to assess child personality.  As of now, we have begun testing SONA participants who will be coding these “thin-slice” videos of children’s behavior.

For more information about RA positions please feel free to contact us at 713-743-4847 or