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Families Needed for Child Behavior Study

Families Invited to be a Part of Campus Research

Aug 8, 2017 — Article by: Elizabeth Droge-Young

Photo of SUNY Upstate

Children between the ages of 6 and 12 and their parents are needed for a child behavioral research study at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Participating families will receive compensation for their time, as well as a complimentary copy of one of the study’s behavioral assessments to share with health care providers.

“We are studying new ways of understanding the cognitive and behavioral development of children and their family members in order to help change the way that mental health disorders are understood and diagnosed in the future,” says Pat Forken, senior research support specialist at SUNY Upstate. The study is co-directed at SUNY Upstate by Stephen J. Glatt, associate professor of psychiatry; and Stephen Faraone, Distinguished Professor of psychiatry.

Glatt and Faraone hope to change the current, subjective method of behavioral health evaluation to one that uses biological information. They will do this by discovering biomarkers associated with cognitive and behavioral development. 

“We want to change the way neuropsychiatric disorders are diagnosed in children, moving from a subjective model to one that is rooted in biology,” Forken says.

Also involved is Avery Albert, a doctoral student in clinical psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) at SU. She is currently doing an assistantship at SUNY Upstate, where she serves as a research analyst for the study.  

Kristin Anders ’15 (biology and Spanish) was hired to work on the study after volunteering two semesters. She oversees eight A&S interns: Ariel Clarke ’18 (biology), Emma Cleary ’18 (psychology), Ciara Harrington ’18 (chemistry), Matthew Kahn ’18 (psychology and neuroscience), Kari Krajewski ’18 (health and exercise science), Katie Overhaug ’18 (biology), Crystal Ramos ’18 (biology, psychology) and Yvette Rother ’19 (pre-med, psychology, neuroscience). She also supervises Bryan Koes ’16, who graduated from the School of Education with a degree in health and exercise science.

The National Institute of Mental Health-funded study is open to both children with and children without mental health concerns. The testing procedure, which includes a series of questionnaires, computer-based games and the submission of a DNA sample for genetic analysis, can take up to three hours.

All families will be financially compensated for their participation and given free parking or bus passes. Visits can be scheduled during the day, early evening or the weekend. For more information, visit or

To schedule participation contact Forken at 315.464.5619 or

Contact Information

Pat Forken