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The Social Trust and Behavioural Study is a research project conducted as part of Keri Wong's PhD on better understanding children’s relationships and behaviours in the UK and Hong Kong.  Keri is a second year PhD student in Social and Developmental Psychology at the University of Cambridge.  This project is co-supervised by Dr. Claire Hughes (Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge) and Prof. Daniel Freeman (Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford).

What is this study about? 

Children’s relationships with others, their social and behavioural experiences during a time of developmental change is important to their personal development and later life.  This study will take place at two points during the year and hopes to extend on existing models of social trust in adults to children.  Approximately 1,200 9 to 14 year-old children in Cambridge and Hong Kong are being assessed in the class and some will be assessed individually.  To get a more complete picture, we wish to invite parents and teachers to complete some questionnaires to help us gain a complete picture of how the children are getting on in school.  This study has been approved by the Psychological Research Ethics Committee of the University of Cambridge. 

What will participating involve?

We are asking parents to complete a short questionnaire booklet about their children on their behaviour and social skills.  This information will supplement information provided by your children, their peers and teachers.  Should you choose to participate in this study, you are free to withdraw at any time without consequence.  As a token of appreciation, all participating classes within each country will be entered into a raffle for a cash prize.  Children who are contacted for a follow-up interview will be given a gift card upon completion of the task and their parents a small gift.

A little bit about Keri...

This research project is conducted as part of Keri Wong's PhD on children’s social trust and behavioural understanding in the UK and Hong Kong.  Keri is a former student of Quarry Bay School (99'), South Island School (06') and the University of Pennsylvania, USA (10'), where she majored in Psychology.  This project is co-supervised by Dr. Claire Hughes (Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge) and Prof. Daniel Freeman (Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford).


Updated 27 October 2015
 With the help of 23 schools in both the UK and Hong Kong - a total of 2500+ children aged 8 to 14 years - Keri successfully completed her PhD and passed her viva on November 28th in one an a half hours! While there are many more papers to come, a portion of the findings from the study have been published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. More recent updates on the study outcomes can be found here. Again, many thanks to all those who participated in the Cambridge Social Trust and Behavioural Understanding Study!!


Updated 2nd Jan 2014
Keri is writing up her PhD findings.  Thus far, findings have been presented at multiple international and domestic conferences (see website for details). A further study assessing the reliability of our newly developed measures of trust is currently underway in Cambridge. This study will involve 8/9 and 14 year olds in Cambridge.  Children will again be assessed on social trust and and their relationships with peers. Keri will be working with three second year students on this project until May 2014.

Updated 10th Oct 2013
Cambridge All data are in and Keri is busy analysing and writing up the findings! Preliminary findings on the relationships between social trust and mistrust have been submitted for peer-reviewed assessment and until then, watch this space!

Updated 18 Oct 2012

Hong Kong Currently preparing for the 2nd wave of assessment in Hong Kong next month.  Will be interviewing roughly 80 children and also completing some computer tasks with them individually.  In addition, I'll be involved in a few workshops with Psychology and IB students where we explore the scientific methodology and its applications in Social Science. Will also be involved in a few career advice panels for applications to higher education.  Extremely excited to be of help and I'm looking forward to going back to Hong Kong!

Updated 6 Jun 2012

HONG KONG Data collection has concluded in Hong Kong. Over 1,500 children from 8 major primary and secondary International Schools participated in the first phase of the study.  Data are being processed and it is my hope to relay study feedback to schools over the summer (completed summer 2012).


I am pleased to present Mr Gilbert with £50 cash raffle to the winning class  - Su Johnson's class (7Jo) at St Ivo School!  While members of 7Jo are still thinking about how to spend the money, I know that they have come up with many interesting ideas and will put the money towards a worthwhile cause.

Congratulations 7Jo!

Currently, Keri is conducting the 2nd wave of assessments and revisiting some of the Cambridge schools again.  In this last phase of the study, children will complete a short questionnaire and play some computer games.  I would love to hear from parents and teachers as your opinions are important too!

Updated 3rd Feb 2012

Many thanks to the 15 UK schools who have participated in this study during August and December 2011!  Over 1100 children (50 classes) were involved in this phase and Keri is very pleased to process all the data!  The whole-class raffle will take place in April in which one winning class will be awarded a cash prize to spend as a class!

HONG KONG Keri is currently collecting data in her hometown!  She will be here until early March. 

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