Development, Context, and Communication Lab

Ontario Tech University (University of Ontario Institute of Technology), Oshawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Research on the cognitive and social development of children and adolescents, and on their involvement in the legal system.

Areas of expertise

The Development, Context, and Communication Lab is a sophisticated research facility that conducts research on children and adolescent cognitive and social development. The lab’s core mission is to broaden understanding of memory and how people share their experiences with others.

Composed of a team of dedicated graduate and undergraduate students, the laboratory collaborates with many active researchers and facilities across several countries. In addition, it works with schools and other agencies (e.g., legal and social services) to ensure the practicality of its research and assist professionals who conduct work with youth.

Through investigating an array of interesting research questions, the Development, Context, and Communication Lab ultimately aims to understand children's and adolescents' memories of their experiences, and the impact of their life experiences on their understanding of the present. The facility hopes to assist those who work with children and adolescents on a daily basis.

Research services

We conduct research with the ultimate goal of facilitating the legal participation of youth and other vulnerable individuals. We communicate the results of our research broadly so that legal professionals, public policy makers, teachers, and parents are aware of the best ways to talk with children and teens, especially about negative experiences or experiences that are relevant to the legal system.

Sectors of application
  • Education
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Policy and governance
Interview rooms (2)Space for interviewing children or adults with hidden video cameras. Room capacity: 4.
Observation roomSpace from which to observe the interview rooms on camera. Room capacity: 4.
Waiting roomSmall, open waiting room area with couch and games/books for children.
Start Stop PowerPlay video transcriber software (2)Transcription software and pedal for transcribing videos on computers.
Video cameras, viewing monitors and related peripheralsTo observe interviews.


  • Pandemic Parenting, Inc.
TED talk: Why teens confess to crimes they didn’t commit.
Pandemic Parenting website.