Research and Clinical Trials

Research and Clinical Trials

A researcher in the Neonatal Development Collaborative at Penn State examines a specimen under a microscope.

Participate in Research

We have a commitment to improving our understanding of disease, enhancing treatment options, and working to prevent childhood illnesses. You can help by participating.

Additional studies

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry offers additional studies below. For more information regarding these studies, please call 717 531 0003 extension 285968.

Social Skills Treatment Study for Girls with ADHD

This study seeks to improve interventions for girls with ADHD and their parents. Eligible participants are 7-11 year old girls diagnosed with ADHD, and their parents. There’s no extra cost to assess and treat participants. Treatment involves eight weekly group therapy sessions with separate groups for the girls and their parents. Study participants are compensated.

Monetary Reward Processing and Emotion Regulation in Adolescence: An fMRI Pilot Study

This study is examining how the brain responds to rewards and losses, as well as how adolescents and their parents regulate emotions. Financial compensation is provided. For more information, call 717-531-0003 ext. 285965 or email

Participation includes:

  • Children and parents will complete questionnaires
  • Children will complete computer tasks while in an MRI scanner
  • Parents may also have to option to complete and MRI scan

Parent Emotion Regulation

This study examines emotions and treatment for parents of children with attention and/or behavior problems.  Eligible participants are parents of children between the ages of 5 and 12 years who have a diagnosis of ADHD. There’s no extra cost to assess and treat participants. Treatment involves eight weekly sessions with parents to help improve their child’s behavior. Study participants are compensated. 

Participation includes:

  • Parents will complete computer games and rating scales
  • Parents will respond to surveys over a two-week time period using a study provided cell phone
  • Parents and children will be asked to participate in an optional, video recorded interaction task
  • Parents will participate in eight weekly sessions to learn strategies to help their child’s behavior problems

A Pilot Trial of Sub-typing Pediatric Conduct Problems by the Presence of Severe Persistent Irritability and Callous Unemotional Traits

This study assesses how sensitive children are to rewards and punishments, how they perceive emotions in others, and how their body reacts to unexpected events. Eligible participants are 7-12 years old with or without conduct and behavior problems. There is no direct treatment. Assessments are provided at no additional cost. Study participants are compensated. Participation includes:

  • Two visits to determine study eligibility
  • Completion of computer games and rating scales
  •  A possible third visit for additional computer games

Reward and Punishment Sensitivity Study

This study examines 7-12 year olds who have aggression and defiance issues. The study seeks to learn:

  • How these children are affected by rewards and punishments
  • Whether this relates to how they respond to treatment

There’s no extra cost to assess and treat participants. Treatment involves eight weekly sessions with parents to help improve their child’s behavior. Study participants are compensated.

Joint Intervention for Behavior and Sleep Study (JIBS)

This study is testing a four-session counseling program designed to help both behavior and sleep problems. Children who are eligible to participate must be 5-10 years old and have:

  • ADHD or other behavior problems (such as arguing or not following the rules)
  • Trouble falling asleep

All families receive the therapy program. A mental health professional also evaluates the child’s sleep and behavior problems at no extra cost. Study participants are compensated.

6-12 Year Olds; ADHD/Behavior and Sleep (Med Intervention)

This studies is examining the effects of a booster dose of ADHD medication administered in the early evening (generic Ritalin or generic Adderall) and if it improves behavior problems in children and helps them get to bed on time. Eligible participants are between the ages of 6 and 12 years of age who are currently taking medication for the treatment of ADHD and have a hard time falling asleep. Treatment and assessments are provided at no additional cost. Study participants are compensated. Participation includes:

  • An intake visit to determine study eligibility
  • Taking a prescribed medication of low dose generic Ritalin or low dose generic Adderall for a three week period

Get involved

Clinical trials are research studies that use human volunteers to advance medical knowledge. Participants are a critical part of the process of developing new and enhanced treatments for diseases and conditions. Find a clinical trial.

Research programs at Children’s Hospital study pediatric cancer, neonatal development, immunotherapy, and cardiovascular and pulmonary function. In the Pediatric Innovation Program, clinicians and engineers collaborate to create medical devices. See all research programs.

Through their generous giving, donors enable us to make rapid advances in research. Research at the Children's Hospital is actively supported by numerous scientific funding agencies and philanthropies, including Children's Miracle Network and Four Diamonds. Learn more about giving.