Current Studies

If you are interested in participating in any of our current studies, please reach out to us at crehanlab@tufts.edu.

Sexuality Survey

Looking for: adults 18+ with and without a diagnosis of autism

The purpose of the study: The questionnaire asks about sex education experiences, including what topics were covered, which topics you wish had been covered, and at what age those topics would have been most informative. Additional questions ask about identity-related factors (such as sexual orientation and gender identity), relationships (such as your goals and experiences), autistic traits (such as social responsiveness, repetitive behaviors, and theory of mind), and mental health domains (such as anxiety).


Sexuality Education Study

Looking for: Adolescents between the ages of 13-17 with ASD, residing in the US, and able to consent for themselves. A parent/guardian will need to participate in the screening appointment as well.

The purpose of the study: We are examining how the structure of sexual education curriculums for adolescents with autism impacts satisfaction and outcomes.

What you would do: A participant and a parent/guardian schedule a screening appointment with us on Zoom (60-90 minutes). During the appointment, you and your parent answer a few questions on your previous sexuality experiences, daily behaviors and friendships. You will then be assigned to an individual or group session to participate in an 18-week program (1 hour per week). After you complete some follow-up surveys, you will be paid $40 for your time.


IEP Project

Looking for: Caregivers of children ages 3-22 who have an autism diagnosis

What you would do: Submit an IEP and complete surveys on satisfaction with your child’s IEP.

Purpose of this study: Our research seeks to understand the nature of educational inequity for students with ASD by exploring the impact of developmental category, symptom severity, race, culture, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status on the special education services provided to students ages 3-21.

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Identity in Autistic Women

Looking for: cisgender autistic women ages 18-36

What you would do: Complete an online survey on identity, self concept, and experiences with autism, and to write or speak a narrative about an event.

Purpose of this study: To understand the role of autism in autistic women’s self-concept and identity to better understand the impact of the diagnosis on their lives. We hope that this study will expand our understanding of neurodiversity and autistic women.


Focusing On Fitness

Looking for: Adults ages 18+ with a diagnosis of autism.

What you would do: Receive a phone screening call to se if you qualify for the study. If eligible, you will attend a one-time Zoom call for about 30-40 minutes. During this visit, you will answer a series of questions about motivations and barriers to physical activity. Participants will be paid $20 for their time.

Purpose of this study: We are studying the motivations and barriers to physical education for adults with autism.


Sibling Report

Looking for: Individuals between the ages of 18-30 with ASD, residing in the US, and able to consent for themselves

What you would do: The participant, a sibling, and a parent will be asked to complete some questionnaires.

Purpose of this study: We are studying the relationships in families with and without an individual with ASD. We are looking to understand and compare sibling reports to adult self-reports and parent reports.


ON PAUSE – Eye Tracking

Looking for: Children ages 8-12 with a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, autism and ADHD, or without a diagnosis of either, plus one parent/caregiver.

What you would do: Attend a one-time study visit at the lab for about 60-90 minutes. During this visit, the child will view a series of images and videos on a computer while their eye movements are tracked using an eye tracking camera. They will also wear an “Empactica” bracelet on their wrist to track heart rate. They may also complete a brief IQ screener. The parent/caregiver will bring a copy of a recent assessment for the research team and complete some questionnaires. Families will be paid $20 for their time.

The purpose of the study: We are exploring how eye movements can provide important information to distinguish between autism and ADHD, which can be challenging clinically.