Child Development Research Unit

Who Are We?

The Child Development Research Unit (CDRU) is a research laboratory at the University of Guelph that studies critical developmental issues related to child health. We focus on promoting safety and injury prevention in children under 13 years of age. As the director of the CDRU, Dr. Morrongiello has become a top contributor to the field of Developmental Psychology by designing innovative research and intervention projects that have been shown to improve safety knowledge and reduce unintentional injuries for children. The CDRU comprises of students of all levels: PhD; masters; undergraduate thesis students, interns, and volunteers; as well as several full-time staff members.

There are many ways that the research projects of the CDRU can address key factors about current safety issues. Studies may involve phone surveys, in-person visits to our lab on campus, or lab members visiting the homes of our research participants. Some studies focus on children, others on parents, and some involve the entire family. 

Why Is This Research Important?

The CDRU's research is very important for a number of reasons. Initially, the findings of these research studies can serve to improve psychologists' and other researchers' knowledge about how and why unintentional injuries occur, and this knowledge can be further built upon in later research.

When findings are effectively reported to the community, parents, teachers, and other guardians of children can improve their understanding of important safety issues.

Perhaps most importantly, research findings can (and should!) be applied when designing intervention programs to improve child safety. Such programs can involve bringing awareness to safety issues, changing attitudes about safe vs. unsafe behaviour, or teaching children, parents, and guardians how to handle certain situations more safely. Most of the research at the CDRU is federally funded and includes collaborations with Parachute, public health units and other organizations. The research we do here really has an impact! 

We Are Always Looking for Study Participants!

The CDRU is in need of parents who would like to get involved by becoming part of our volunteer contact list. All studies are completely voluntary and are arranged at times convenient for our participants. All volunteers who participate will receive a newsletter highlighting the important findings of our research. Our contact list is confidential and is never released to anyone!

Why Get Involved?

Research is absolutely critical to advancing our understanding of childhood safety issues and to developing effective programs to improve the safety and well-being of children. This research would not be possible without our parent and child volunteers. The knowledge gained from these studies can help people in our society to become more informed parents, and better guardians of children overall. Your assistance as a participant can truly make a difference!

How Do I Get Involved?

If you are interested in participating or learning more about our research, we urge you to contact us!

You can call the CDRU direct line at (519) 767-5033, or email us at any time at

If you would like to be on our volunteer contact list so we can contact you regarding a study pertaining to your child's age group, please give us a call or contact us. 

Your information will be sent securely to us and we will add you into our contact list. When we call you about a specific study, we will describe the project to you, and you can decide if it is something you would like to participate in! If you are aware of a study that you are interested in, please feel free to contact us for more information or to book a visit! Note that you can have your information removed from our contact list at any time if you should decide that you are no longer interested in being involved in our research.