Feelings and Childhood Experiences Study (FACEs Study)

Emotional health and beneficence are crucial elements of well-being and positive socio-emotional functioning. As such, the FACEs Study seeks to better understand how early-life stress relates to 1) emotional awareness 2) emotional learning and generalization and 3) prosociality and aggression. We are particularly interested in studying these associations in teens ages 13 to 18 who have personally experienced or witnessed violence. Our hope in studying this population is to gain more insight into how early life experiences impact processes that are connected to mental health in order to better help other teenagers who have been exposed to trauma.

The study will involve two visits. Due to safety considerations becuase of COVID-19, the first session will be conducted via video conferencing (i.e., Zoom or Skype). The second visit will take place at. the Center for Brain Sciences on Harvard University's main campus, which will abide by the most up-to-date health guidelines to prioritize the safety of all participants. During the visits, we will ask the child and the parent to complete several interviews and questionnaires about their life experiences, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The child will also complete some emotion-related tasks and see pictures of faces on a computer. During the second visit, the child will complete other emotion-related tasks while in an MRI brain scanning machine.