Teencam Pilot Study

What is the Teencam study? The aim of the Teencam study is to test out a new method of recording parent and teenager interaction at home.


To date, all our understanding of parent-adolescent relationships come from questionnaires or studies where families come into a research lab or are visited at home by a researcher and recorded with the researcher present. This kind of set up likely makes it hard for parents and teens to act naturally and also means the interaction is only captured from an outside “third-person view”.

In this study we want to test out asking parents and teens to use wearable head-cameras to record themselves completing two short tasks at home, without a researcher present, to find out whether this method is acceptable and feasible.

It has already been used with mothers and babies in a birth cohort in Bristol (the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Child; ALSPAC) and with teenagers in South Africa in the research lab. If the method proves successful, this will help advance our understanding of parent-adolescent relationships and provide important information to help families in the future.

The Teencam study is being run by researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University, Professor Rebecca Pearson and Dr Nicky Wright

Parent and adolescent wearing head camera

What will I be required to do?

Families taking part in the First Steps study who live locally will be contacted by our team to invite a small volunteer subsample (of around 50 families) to take part. The study involves the primary caregiver and the First Steps study teenager (first born child). If you agree to take part, we will arrange a time for you to be visited by a researcher in your home to explain the study to you, answer any questions you have and show you how to use the equipment. The researcher will leave an instruction card with you to remind you what to do, and we have an instructional video to watch which shows you how to do everything. This visit will take around 15-30 minutes. We will ask you to find a time that suits you both to complete two short activities wearing the head-cameras and to fill out a short questionnaire (paper or online) about your experience of using them. Our researcher will return at an agreed upon time 1-2 weeks later to collect the cameras and any questionnaires, and drop off your thank you vouchers.

The head cameras

The cameras are small “go-pro” like cameras attached to a headband, the black one is for parents and the white one is for teens. Before completing each task we would like you to each turn your head-camera on at the same time and put them on (following the instructions on the card or video). We would also like you to set up and turn on a third photo frame camera to record from the traditional third person view.

Head camera

Activity One - The 'Sussed' card game

The first activity is to spend 10 minutes playing the 'sussed' card game. 'Sussed' is a conversation starter game with “would you rather” type questions where players can find out how others see them, talk about how others see them and understand why people think or feel a certain way.

Activity Two - Snack / drink with week planning discussion

The second activity is to spend 5 minutes sharing a drink or a snack and discussing your plans for the week, either plans together or separate plans.

How will I be compensated?

To thank you both for taking the time to take part, and any time lost on work/homework or other activity, you will each receive a £30 high street shopping voucher. 

The Teencam Pilot Study is being run in collaboration with MMU logo

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