Study Invitation Letter

Dear Participant,

My name is Yesenia Schuler.  I am a student in the Doctor of Psychology program at Rivier University in Nashua, NH.  I am conducting a research study as part of the requirements of my degree in Counseling and School Psychology, and I would like to invite you to participate.  This study has been approved by the Rivier University Institutional Review Board on March 23, 2020 (Review # 022220).

The focus of this study will be on emerging adults, looking specifically at emotion regulation and how it is related to Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) and identity diffusion.  In addition, I will be investigating the impact of identity diffusion on emotion regulation and NSSI history to better understand this complex relationship and to inform more effective treatment plans. 

In order to be eligible for this study, participants will answer two exclusionary questions before completing the demographic questionnaire and three surveys specific to this study: Extended Version of the Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status (EOMEIS-2), Ottawa Self-Injury Inventory (OSI), and the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ), which consists of 64, 73, and 10 questions, respectively.  The demographic questionnaire consists of 16 questions.  The exclusionary questions, demographic questionnaire, and all surveys will be accessed online.  The estimated completion time for each is as follows:  EOMEIS-2, 10 minutes; the OSI, 15 minutes; and the ERQ, five minutes.

Participation in this study is voluntary and  strictly confidential.  Taking part in this study is your decision as you can choose to end your participation at any time.  However, your input is invaluable to the study of NSSI behavior and, therefore, your full participation is greatly appreciated.   While the results of the study may be published or presented at professional meetings, your identity will remain confidential at all times.   In fact, your name and personal information will not be collected or associated with your responses in any way.  In addition, the questionnaire and surveys used will be identified by a code number and all information will be kept secured and password encrypted on the researcher’s password-protected computer with files saved on a portable hard drive and locked in a filing cabinet in the researcher’s home.  

For your time and effort, participants who have completed the demographic questionnaire and all surveys will have opportunity to be entered into a raffle for the chance to win one of 80 $5 Dunkin Donut electronic gift cards.  After completing the last survey, participants will be prompted to copy and paste a url link where they can provide their contact information.  All information is confidential and IP addresses will remain anonymous.

Thank you for your consideration.  If you have any questions about this study, you may contact me at ​yschuler@rivier.edu​, my faculty advisor, Dr. Robert Walrath, at rwalrath@rivier.edu, or chair of the Institutional Review Board, Dr. Melinda M. Luther, at mluther@rivier.edu.  If you would like to participate, please continue to the informed consent following this invitation letter.

With Kind Regards,

Yesenia Schuler


                                                                          Informed Consent for Participation

You are invited to participate in a research study to identify how emotion regulation is related to Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) behavior and identity development in emerging adults.  You were selected as a possible participant because you are between the ages of 18 and 29 and may have a history of NSSI behavior.  While your input is extremely valuable as it will contribute to our understanding of NSSI, participation in this study is completely voluntary and free of charge. 

This study is being conducted by Yesenia Schuler, a doctoral student at Rivier University in Nashua, NH as part of her doctoral research project.  Please read this form and ask any questions before agreeing to participate.  Email questions to the researcher at yschuler@rivier.edu.  

Your participation will start with two exclusionary questions and depending on how you respond, you’ll continue with three surveys and a demographic questionnaire.  By completing the questionnaire and surveys, you are giving consent to participate in the study. 

Background information:  The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between emotion regulation, NSSI, and identity diffusion (i.e., identity confusion), looking closely at how emerging adults respond to stress when faced with an identity crisis.  Current research shows that NSSI is used primarily to manage emotions and negative self-thoughts (Taylor et al., 2018).  With regard to the relationship between emotion regulation, NSSI, and identity development, individuals with poor self-concept clarity (as a form of identity instability) were more emotionally dysregulated, which further impacted their NSSI behavior (i.e., they engaged in various forms of NSSI).  This relationship suggests that identity instability may inhibit the development of emotion regulation and trigger a process where individuals are more likely to go from one form of NSSI behavior to another as a way of achieving emotional balance, punishing the self, or establishing a stable identity (Lear & Pepper, 2016).

Procedures:  This study calls for approximately 385 participants.  If you choose to participate in this study, you will be asked to answer two exclusionary questions, which will determine whether or not you’ll proceed to the three surveys and demographic questionnaire, all of which will be accessed online.  The demographic questionnaire and surveys will take approximately 35-45 minutes to complete.  Participants who complete the demographic questionnaire and all surveys will have opportunity to be entered into a raffle for a chance to win one of 80 $5 Dunkin Donut electronic gift cards as compensation for their time and effort.   

Risks of being in the study:  It is possible that some of the questions asked in this study may cause some feelings of discomfort or be triggering in some way.   Please keep in mind that you may refuse to answer any question(s), and you are free to withdraw from the study at any time without negative consequence.  If you experience any distress and would like to talk to someone, we urge you to speak to someone you trust or contact your health professional, therapist, and/or 911.  In addition, a resource list will be provided, which includes counseling services and free resources that can be accessed at any time.

Benefits of being in the study:  While there is no direct benefit to you for participating in this study (aside from the opportunity to be entered into a raffle), your participation may add to the existing research and help improve treatment outcomes for emerging adults with NSSI behavior.

Thank you for contributing to this research study.

Sincerely,

Yesenia Schuler

                                                                                           Resource List

If you are in crisis, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Crisis Support:

·       National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255

·       HopeLine – call or text 919-231-4525 or 877-235-4525

·       Text CONNECT to 741741 any time and be connected to a counselor for free

Question Title

* 1. Are you between the ages of 18 and 29?

Question Title

* 2. Do you have a diagnosis of schizophrenia or a psychotic disorder?

T