The Pittsburgh ADHD Risk in Infancy Study (PARIS)

Supervising Faculty: Heather M. Joseph, DO, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Department of Psychiatry

To Apply: Complete the application form at: Once you submit, please email Dr. Heather Joseph at or Michelle Wilson at to confirm you have submitted the application form.

Contact: Heather M. Joseph, DO,

Area of Research: Clinical Psychology, Developmental Psychology

Description of Research:  The Pittsburgh ADHD Risk in Infancy Study (PARIS) is a longitudinal study of offspring born to parents with and without ADHD. Expectant parents are enrolled during pregnancy and their offspring are followed to toddlerhood. Dr. Joseph aims to identify early signals of inattention in the first years of life that are predictive of childhood ADHD. She is also interested in both risk and resilience factors that contribute to the heritability of this disorder including parenting behaviors that may serve as points of intervention in future work.

Duties of Students:  

  • Participate in laboratory and home visits (e.g., record parent-infant interactions, provide childcare for siblings during portions of the visits)
  • Observational coding of infant and/or parent behavior
  • Data entry (e.g., Electronic Medical Records, Child neurodevelopmental questions/assessments,
  • Parent diagnostic evaluations for psychiatric disorders)
  • Contribute to participant recruitment efforts
  • Attend study specific meetings and lab wide
  • Journal Club/educational seminars
  • Prepare end of semester direct research project


  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • 12 credits of Psychology (including current term)
  • STAT 0200/1000/1100 Statistics
  • PSY 0036 Research Methods Lecture
  • PSY 0037 Research Methods Lab
  • Minimum of 2 credit hours
  • 2 term commitment is necessary for sufficient time to be trained in observational research methods
  • Some weekend availability to participate in research visits

Recruitment Process:  All students are asked to submit an unofficial transcript and resume. Meetings with Dr. Joseph are scheduled for all students who demonstrate academic excellence in psychology coursework and preferentially for those who have experience working with children. During the meeting, Dr. Joseph introduces herself describing her educational background (research and clinical), provides an overview of the research study aims, the range of student responsibilities, and student expectations with an emphasis on research integrity and professionalism with participant families. Students are asked about their experience and comfort working with children. They are also asked to describe their goals for participation in directed research and how this lab aligns with their future career goals. Students have the opportunity to ask questions. They are told that they did not have to make a decision immediately and instead should consider if the lab/project is a good fit for them and respond by e-mail once they have decided. Students will be enrolled with a rolling acceptance until all spots are filled. In the case that more students simultaneously apply than spots are available, preference will be given to students who have comfort with the research methods and protocol. In line with the YFRP commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion, students who demonstrate understanding of the socio-historically based structural disadvantage that affects people of color and/or knowledge of stigma and discrimination against the Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ+) community are preferred.

Terms offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Number of Students: 5

Lab website