Both the kinds of exchanges and the context under which children are questioned may affect the quality of data. Yet, little is known about how developmental scientists communicate with children for research. Using manifest content analysis, the 3,119 manuscripts published in the top 20 developmental outlets in 2018 were coded for methodology, examining whether researchers communicated directly with children, how they did so, and how they contextualized questioning. We found that over 65% of empirical publications presenting new data questioned children. Researchers used a variety of methodologies (e.g., 64% questionnaires, 51% assessments, 5% interviews). As age increased, the odds of giving children standardized questionnaires, closed-ended questions, and Likert-type questions increased. Researchers rarely reported how they contextualized questioning and rarely utilized supplemental materials. Researchers should consider collecting more qualitative data, better reporting methodologies, and utilizing online spaces to share supplemental materials. These modifications can ensure that we produce the strongest data.

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