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Youth Emotional and Behavioral Problem Study


​​​Boys Town National Research Hospital is seeking young people with emotional and/or behavioral health problems to participate in research studies. 

The study may include questionnaires, brain imaging, providing saliva samples, and playing computer games. 

Your child may qualify if:

  • Your child is 9 to 15 years old
  • He or she is medically healthy
  • Struggles with emotional problems, like depression/sadness, anxiety, trauma
  • And/or struggles with behavioral problems, like aggression/legal trouble, social problems, attention problems, conflict at home, substance abuse
  • We are also seeking medically healthy youth, ages 9 to 17, without emotional or behavioral issues for comparison studies.

Participants will be compensated for their time up to $50 per visit.

Participation may include behavioral observation, brain imaging and psychological interviews. Studies take place at:

University of Nebraska Medical Center
4242 Farnam St.
Omaha, NE 68131

To sign up, please fill o​ut the form below, or call (531) 355-1220.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is involved in the study?

 A: We may invite your child to play simple computer games that measure his or her behavior, possibly while having an MRI brain scan. We may also ask your child to provide saliva samples before, during and after playing these computer games in order to measure hormone levels.

Q: Will my son or daughter benefit?

 A: Other than compensation for his or her time, your child will not receive any direct benefits from participation. If your child receives an MRI brain scan, a doctor will review the scan and you will be informed if anything requiring medical evaluation is found.

Q: Are there risks involved?

 A: This study is low risk. This means that the risks are thought to be no greater than risks from other everyday activities like going to school or to the doctor's office. The MRI brain scan uses magnets, not x-rays or radiation.

Q: How much time do these studies take?

A: Your child may be invited to come to the University of Nebraska several times to complete the study. A parent or legal guardian will need to come with him or her each time. Visits are usually one to two hours long. We will try to schedule visits at the times that are most convenient for you. You are free to stop participating in the study at any time. Your child will never do anything he or she does not want to do.