Mealtime Experiences Research Study

Food Selectivity in Transition-Age Youth with ASD Research Study

(UMMS IRB Docket: 00012432)

Study Overview 

We want to learn from young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) ages 18-23 years who do not like a lot of foods or eat fewer types of foods compared to other people their age (often referred to as “food selectivity” or “picky eating”) whether and how their food dislikes impact relationships with family members, or peers, and/or community access.

This study has been developed with input from a person with autism, family members, and a panel of clinicians who work with youth with ASD. 

Who Can Participate? 

We are looking for young adults ages 18-23 years who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger’s, Autism, PDD-NOS) who have many food dislikes or eat fewer types of foods compared to other people their age (also known as food selectivity).).  Participants must be under their own guardianship, be able to read and respond to an online questionnaire independently, and be able to participate in a conversation where they provide detailed descriptions of their experiences.

What is involved?

The study includes two parts:

  1. an online questionnaire that will take approximately 30-45 minutes
  2. an online interview using Zoom (a web-conferencing tool) that will take about an hour. (Participants living within driving distance of Boston, MA may opt instead to do the interview in person.)

The questionnaire includes three categories of questions:

  1. demographic information, such as age, sex, and living situation
  2. questions about what foods the participant eats
  3. questions about some of the participants eating habits

The interview will ask questions about eating and mealtime experiences with family, friends, classmates and/or co-workers, and in other social situations.

Participation in this research is completely voluntary.


Participants will receive up to $35 dollars in gift cards.

How can you learn more about the study?

To learn more, to ask questions, or to see if you meet our eligibility criteria, please contact Lucy, the Research Coordinator, by phone or email:

Phone:  774-455-4019

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