[Parentsgroup-list] Are you interested in your child participating in a study on stressful life events?

Manuel Sprung msprung at wjh.harvard.edu
Fri Feb 5 23:43:28 EST 2010

Dear Manjari Chatterjee Miller,

thank you for your question. As a father I understand your concern. However,
I think it might be the result of a misunderstanding. In my study I do not
ask children to imagine hypothetically that they have had stressful

Best regards,
Manuel Sprung

On Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 5:11 PM, Manjari Chatterjee Miller <
mchatter at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:

> No offence but if my small child (thankfully) hasn't experienced any
> stressful life events, is there a good reason to subject him to questions
> about hypothetical stressful situations..wouldn't that be...umm...stressful?
> On Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 4:58 PM, Manuel Sprung <msprung at wjh.harvard.edu>wrote:
>> Dear parents,
>> I am the very proud father of a 1 year old daughter and I am also child
>> psychologist working in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University.
>> I am writing to inquire if you might be interested for your
>> to participant in a research study I am conducting. I have previously worked
>> with children who were affected by the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and also
>> with children from schools in the greater Boston area. My current study aims
>> to improve our understanding of how young children think and feel about
>> stressful life events, including major negative life events such as a
>> medical illness, injury, accident, or loss of a loved one, as well as other
>> stressful life events, such as moving cities, birth of a sibling, parental
>> separation. You may think that discussion of stressful life events should be
>> avoided. However, research shows that if anything it can be beneficial for
>> children to talk about their experiences. We will also compare children who
>> did experience major stressful life events with a control group of children
>> who did not experience any major stressful life events. I should emphasize
>> that children who participated in my earlier research generally found their
>> experience interesting and enjoyable.
>> Thus, I invite you and your child to participate even if your child never
>> experienced any major stressful life events. Participation will involve two
>> interviews, each about 45 minutes long. The interviews can take place at
>> your child's school, at our offices at Harvard, or in your home. During
>> interviews children will play games, listen to stories, and will be asked
>> questions about how they think and feel about stressful life events. After
>> each interview children will receive a small prize as a token of
>> appreciation for their participation.
>> If your child is between the age of 5 and 13, and you would like to hear
>> more about the study, please contact me by e-mail (
>> msprung at wjh.harvard.edu) or phone (617-495-3746). Thank you very much for
>> your consideration. I hope to hear from you.
>> Warm regards,
>> Manuel Sprung
>> --
>> Dr. Manuel Sprung
>> Harvard University
>> Department of Psychology
>> 1232 William James Hall
>> 33 Kirkland St. Cambridge, MA 02138
>> 617-495-3746
>> msprung at wjh.harvard.edu
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Dr. Manuel Sprung
Harvard University
Department of Psychology
1232 William James Hall
33 Kirkland St. Cambridge, MA 02138
msprung at wjh.harvard.edu
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