Grenfell researcher seeks parents and guardians for study

The research of Dr. Kelly Warren aims to understand how parents would react if their child witnessed or experienced crimes.

A professor of psychology at Grenfell Campus Memorial University, Dr. Warren’s work will inform a larger series of studies assessing parent-child discussion of crime; results of these studies will be used to inform legal practitioners of the realities surrounding such conversations.

Dr. Warren, whose research interests intersect between psychology and law, is trying to learn more about these conversations.

“As part of a criminal investigation, children who witness or experience a crime are often asked to talk about any prior discussions they have had with a parent about that crime,” she explained. “The concern is that parents may knowingly or unknowingly suggest information to a child that can interfere with their memory. Yet, because such conversations between parents and children happen in the privacy of their homes, little is known about how these conversations occur. Perhaps, parents can even help children recall a crime.”

Dr. Warren is currently conducting a study that asks parents how they would react if their child witnessed or experienced crimes that vary in seriousness. 

“Parents and guardians who participate will take part in a 30-minute telephone or virtual interview with a research assistant,” she said, adding that participation is voluntary and any data collected will remain confidential. “They will be presented with fictitious crimes, and then asked to discuss how they would react, as well as if/how they would discuss this with their children.”

Participants who complete the study will receive a $10 gift card as a token of her appreciation. If you are a parent of a child between the ages of 5 and 10 and are interested in participating in this study, please contact Kelly at kwarren@grenfell.mun.ca to learn more about it or to sign up. Interviews will be completed at a mutually convenient time.  

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