Current laboratory studies are investigating the relationship between substance abuse and adolescents’ relationship with their parents. These studies are using Ecological Momentary Assessments (EMA’s), to predict the likelihood of an adolescent partaking in substance abuse. These EMA’s take the form of 4 random surveys per day over a period of 4 weeks. Surveys contain questions about maladaptive parenting behaviors, negative emotion, and reward arousal, as well as SU risk behaviors.

Because maladaptive parenting behaviors can lead to increases in arousal, as seen by increasing heart rate levels, it was decided that participants will wear have their physiological signs monitored with wearable sensors. Specifically, the adolescent’s physiological signs will be monitored by E4 watches created by Empatica. .

Current research states that there is little data on how accurate an E4 watch is when participants are not sitting still or are in ambulatory settings. As the participants were planning to wear the sensors for about 12-15 hours per day, it was necessary to test out the E4 watches to see if they were suitable to perform the goal needed.