The decision-making process related to a child's participation in clinical trials often involves multiple family members. The aim of this study was to compare family patterns of decision-making within and across family units in pediatric clinical trials. Participants for this secondary analysis included 14 families from a larger study of informed consent. Four distinct patterns of decision-making were identified: Exclusionary, informative, collaborative, and delegated. These patterns varied with regard to three dimensions of parents' decision-making goals, child level of involvement, and the parental role. These patterns of decision-making affect how parents and children communicate with health professionals and influence the effectiveness of health care providers interactions with the family related to the decision-making process.