Teen Mental Health And Brain Development Study


Study Description:

Our study is looking at how parenting, personality, and brain development influence teens’ vulnerability to depression or anxiety. Your participation involves 2 separate visits to the Foothills Medical Centre (Calgary, Alberta), and completing questionnaires and saliva samples at home. Your first visit would be about 3-4 hours. During this visit you and your child would participate in interviews, questionnaires, saliva samples, and an interaction task. During the second visit (~2.5 hours), your child would have MRI and EEG scans. If you participate, we would contact you in approximately one year and ask you and your child to participate again. Each year that your family participates, you will receive $350 total compensation.

  Mind and Body

  Personalized Medicine

Disorders Helped:

Mood disorders, Anxiety disorders

Inclusion Criteria:

1. Healthy children aged 12-17
2. One parent has a likely history of mood or anxiety difficulties
3. Able to speak and understand English
4. Live in the Calgary area and able to commute to the Foothills Medical Centre
5. Able to tolerate ~1 hour MRI scan, ~1 hour EEG scan, and ~3 hours of interviews and questionnaires.

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Your child must not have braces or metal implants anywhere on their body (if they do, they may still be able to participate, but not in the MRI portion of the study)
2. Your child must not have a diagnosed history of developmental (e.g., Autism, etc) or neurological (e.g., epilepsy, cerebral palsy) disorders or a diagnosed history of depression or anxiety disorders (e.g., Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia).

Age Range:



Youth may request a picture of their brain from their MRI scan.


Youth may feel uncomfortable in the MRI Scanner due to the loud noises and claustrophobic environment. Ear plugs will be provided and participants may stop the scan at any time.
Answering questions about mental health symptoms may induce increased levels of distress. Participants may skip questions they do not wish to answer or stop at any time.
Parents and teens will have to have a conversation together about potentially challenging topics which may make participants feel uncomfortable or distressed. Participants may take breaks or stop at any time.

Study Location and Contact Information:


TRW, 3280 Hospital Drive NW 4th Floor, 4D73
Calgary Alberta T2N 4Z6

Co-ordinator: Shanaya Fischer

Phone: 403-210-6839

Email:  [email protected]

Website: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LJHQ757

Time Commitment:

Our study involves 2 in-person visits – one of which can span 3-4 hours and the other takes about 2.5 hours. Families also complete questionnaires and saliva samples at home which take about 2.5 hours. The total time commitment (including take home stuff) is around 8-9 hours for families.