What do your students think?

A diagnostic tool for studying affectivity and lifestyles

Ethical considerations

Protection of data

The questionnaire is anonymous, completed individually and conducted on-line. Only researchers can see the answers; parents and teachers will not have access to them. Young people and their privacy are fully protected because there is no way to identify answers of individual students. All answers will be transferred to a database, which will be analyzed using statistical techniques. Security standards and data protection will be respected at all times. Data from an individual school will never be shared with third parties and the database will not contain the name of individual schools. The database that identifies the schools with codes will be saved separately from the primary database and, for safety, will not be connected to any network. Throughout the process, the project will follow the guidelines set forth in the Practice Code for Social and Market Research (ICC / ESOMAR, 2007).

On the possible influence of some questions on young people

When students finish answering the questionnaire, a final notice will appear to explain to them that, although they have been asked about some health-related behaviors, this is only for research purposes. It does not imply that it is expected that they have these behaviors.

Voluntary student participation

Participation in this study is voluntary. Students receive information about the study at least two days before administering it, and they should understand that completing the questionnaire means that they have given their informed consent.
Students can choose not to fill out the questionnaire. Furthermore, if a student is uncomfortable answering a specific question, they can select the response "I prefer not to answer" that appears as an option throughout the questionnaire. To view the information that students receive, click here.

Parental consent

Each school chooses the most suitable way for them to acquire parental consent according to their particular circumstances and their customary protocol for communication with parents. The research team assists schools in carrying out their chosen method of informing parents, for example by providing template letters. We recommend utilizing Procedure 1 or 2 because, among other advantages, they are simpler and more effective in garnering wide participation.

Procedure 1. Implicit authorization without prior information.

The study is considered an educational activity that is part of the school’s curriculum, which parents implicitly authorize when enrolling their children in the school. The same idea applies, for example, to a talk about tobacco, alcohol or drugs.

Procedure 2. Implicit authorization with prior information.

The school informs parents through a notice (on paper or by email) that the school will participate in the project and that students are invited to participate by filling out the questionnaire. The notice includes information on the project, including a link to the project website that contains all details. The study is considered an educational activity that is part of the school’s curriculum, which parents implicitly consent to when enrolling their children in the school. The same idea applies, for example, when a school sends parents a list of textbooks their child needs, which the school selects without explicitly consulting the parents. Template Information Letter.

Procedure 3. Explicit refusal notification.

The school informs parents through a notice (on paper or by email) that the school will participate in the project and that students are invited to participate by filling out the questionnaire. The notice includes information on the project, including a link to the project website that contains all details. If they do not want their children to participate, they can notify the school before a certain deadline. By not explicitly responding, parents are considered to be informed and to have given their consent. This approach is common, for example, when schools schedule activities such as enrollment in language exams or cultural outings. Template Refusal Letter.

Procedure 4. Explicit authorization.

The school informs parents through a notice (on paper or by email) that the school will participate in the project and that students are invited to participate by filling out the questionnaire. The notice includes information on the project, including a link to the project website that contains all details. The school requests that parents provide explicit consent for their children to participate in answering the questionnaire. Schools usually use this method in invasive interventions, for example, when primary health care services administer required immunizations at schools . This option can be more problematic in garnering wide participation when parents do not respond to the notice. Template Consent Letter.