Current Lab Projects
Our lab is conducting several research studies designed to better understand pediatric health behaviors (e.g. sleep, diet, physical activity) and develop digital assessment tools to measure individual behavior patterns.
Affect and HeAlth Behavior study (AHAB)
Title: Ecological Momentary Assessment of Affect and Health Behavior
Investigators: Christopher Cushing, Ph.D.
Purpose: AHAB uses innovative assessment approaches (e.g. smartphones and body sensors) to study physical activity, affect, and sleep in adolescents in a free-living environment. We aim to enroll 100 adolescents (13-18 year olds) to complete ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) via mobile phone over a period of 20 days. Objective measures of sleep and physical activity are collected using wrist-worn accelerometers and a trunk-worn physiological monitoring system. This study will contribute valuable insights into the reciprocal effects of moment-to-moment mood, fatigue, energy, social support, and sleep on adolescent physical activity.
Status: This study is actively enrolling participants. To find out more or enroll in this study, please call 785-864-1287!
Title: Program Evaluation of the Alvin Ailey Dance Camp
Investigators: Christopher Cushing, Ph.D., Paula Fite, Ph.D., & Michael Roberts, Ph.D.
Purpose: The Alvin Ailey Dance Camp is a 6-week summer camp for children and families who are considered at-risk due to low socioeconomic status and exposure to adverse life events. Campers participate in dance classes and classes aimed to enhance their ability to abstain from drugs, effectively resolve peer conflicts, and cope with violence and adversity in their schools and neighborhoods. AileyCamp evaluates families before and after camp to measure changes in psychological adjustment, risk factors, psychosocial problems, adaptive qualities, and parenting attitudes.
Status: This program evaluation has been ongoing since 2010. Read more about the Alvin Ailey Dance Camp ».
Abdominal Pain Project
Title: Precision Medicine in Pediatric Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: Individualized Assessment for Tailored Treatment
Investigators: Christopher Cushing, Ph.D., Jennifer Schurman, Ph.D., & Craig Friesen, M.D.
Purpose: The purpose of the project is to determine the feasibility and acceptability of a precision medicine approach to care in pediatric abdominal pain. Participants will provide 14-days worth of data on symptoms, mood, and other psychosocial variables that will then be used clinically to develop an individualized profile of pain triggers and clinical recommendations. The project will be evaluated by determining the feasibility of capturing the data and providing clinical recommendations, and patient satisfaction with the reports.
Status: Actively enrolling
Title: Smartphones-Promoting Exercise through Ecology (S-PETE)
Investigators: Christopher Cushing, Ph.D. & Chris Crick, Ph.D.
Purpose: The S-PETE project was a feasibility and acceptability study aimed at determining whether current smartphone and sensor technologies were adequate to assess mood, activity, sleep, and physiology in real-time. The project ultimately led to a protocol that the lab now uses to collect data in several subsequent projects.
Title: Healthy Pokes SMS Messaging Intervention
Investigators: Christopher Cushing, Ph.D.
Purpose: The Healthy Pokes program was an automated server-side platform for delivering tailored messages to prompt physical activity in adolescents. The intervention effect was assessed using the novel aggregated N-of-1 Randomized Controlled Trial design proposed in Cushing, Walters, and Hoffman (2014)
Review of App Store
Title: Is There an App for That? Translational Science of Pediatric Behavior Change for Physical Activity and Dietary Interventions: A Systematic Review
Investigators: Erin Brannon, M.S. & Christopher Cushing, Ph.D.
Purpose: The purpose of the project was to review the literature on pediatric health promotion and determine what intervention characteristics improve physical activity and dietary behavior in children and adolescents. We also reviewed the iTunesTM app store to determine the correspondence between mobile apps and the evidence base.