King's College London scientist from Kent appeals for families to take part in online games for study into children's attention spans

A research scientist from Kent who is trying to understand children's motivation and attention spans and the affect it has on behaviour is appealing to families to take part in a series of online games and activities she has devised.

Virginia Carter Leno, who grew up in Kemsing, is part of a team at King's College London which is looking into how motivation and attention profiles impact on youngsters' social skills, emotions and behaviour.

The study is looking at how social skills may be linked with attention and motivation
The study is looking at how social skills may be linked with attention and motivation

The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience has just launched the project in the hope of being able to involve families who are at home on their summer break.

The project involves children and teenagers aged between 10 and 16 completing around 60 minutes of fun online activities.

Participants can take a break in the middle for as long as they wish and the team says all the challenges have been designed to be as engaging as possible.

Parents are also then asked to complete a short questionnaire about their child's social skills and behaviour.

It is hoped the research and results will help scientists better understand how children's attention and motivation could be linked to strengths and difficulties in socialising, managing emotions and behaviour and consequently how those children could be better supported if they are experiencing difficulties.

Virginia Carter Leno from King's College London (40193421)
Virginia Carter Leno from King's College London (40193421)

Virginia, who attended St Michael's in Otford and Sevenoaks School before university in London said: "I think children would find it a fun activity to do in the holidays and everyone who takes part is entered into a prize draw for shopping vouchers, plus all families receive an educational newsletter explaining more about why we think it's important to study things like memory and emotions.

"We want as many families as possible to take part in our research."

To learn more about taking part in the study and what's involved please click here.

For more family-related news and events please visit www.mykentfamily.co.uk

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