The research mission of the Early Childhood Center is to promote diverse opportunities for research related to children, families, and early childhood education. CSU researchers and other university researchers conduct approved research studies with children and families enrolled at the ECC.
If you are a CSU student or faculty member interested in conducting research at ECC, please complete the online Application for Research Investigation at the CSU Early Childhood Center.
Current Research Projects
The IJOYY Study
The IJOYY study (It’s Just Ok, Yummy, Yucky) examines how preschool children view themselves as eaters and whether they can self-identify themselves as a picky or non-picky eater. Dr. Laura Bellows and Cris Benz, researchers from CSU’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, came to the ECC with their research team and invited the children to participate in a “tasting game” in the Griffin Foundation Gym and Community Room.
Children's Executive Function, Eating Regulation, and Weight
Dr. Patricia Davies from CSU’s Department of Occupational Therapy and Dr. Laura Bellows from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition utilized the ECC as a recruitment site for their research study examining the relationship between neural processing of executive functions, especially inhibition, and children’s ability to inhibit eating desirable snacks when they are full.
Prototyping for Social Problems
Researchers from Penn State and University of Colorado Boulder utilized the ECC as an observational site for their project titled Prototyping for Social Problems. The researchers were interested in collecting data on ways to design prototypes for social, complex problems. Specifically, at the ECC the researchers observed daily transitions, such as from inside time to outside time.
Dr. Karen Barrett of the HDFS department is developing a new social emotional curriculum for preschoolers called RE-Mind (Regulation, Emotion understanding, & Mindfulness) that uses puppets, picture cards, and mindfulness and self-control activities to support children’s emotional development. These new classroom and playground activities are expected to help children become better be able to calm themselves down and label their feelings, feel in control, and solve problems with their peers effectively. This curriculum is being piloted at the ECC so that it can be evaluated by Dr. Barrett and her team.
Motivational School Readiness Assessment
Dr. George Morgan, Dr. Karen Barrett, and Dr. Krisztian Jozsa are recipients of a CSU Ventures Creative Works Commercialization Award for their work on a computer-based motivation assessment for the transition to school. The investigators are collaborating with the ECC to pilot the assessment with 4 and 5 year old children.
The Early Childhood Center (ECC) at Colorado State University believes that the knowledge gained from naturalistic observations can help adult learners apply the theories they have learned by seeing them in practice. Observers are welcome at the ECC.