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Project Title: Understanding Physical Activity Habits in Adults with or without Autism Spectrum Disorder
Researcher: Dakota Morales
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Denise Davidson

You are being asked to take part in a research study being conducted by Dakota Morales for a research study under the supervision of Dr. Denise Davidson in the Department of Developmental Psychology at Loyola University Chicago.

The purpose of this study is to examine the physical activity habits of adults between the ages of 18 and 30 with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) traits. Physical activity and exercise have been shown to be critical to motor and social skill development, stimulation of brain activity, increasing positive mental health as well as reducing poor physical health outcomes. However, as individuals age through the course of adolescence into young adulthood, physical activity rates decrease. In the general population, research has shown that in some young adults this effect is magnified, more specifically in young adults who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) traits. Individuals with ASD traits may or may not have been diagnosed with ASD.

The primary purpose of the study is to compare adults with and without ASD traits in terms of their physical activity habits and barriers to physical activity in adults between 18 and 30 years of age. Also, of interest, will be to examine how factors such as body-related self-conscious emotions (e.g., body shame, guilt, and pride) and individual motivation play a role in affecting physical activity habits.

Before beginning the study, you will be asked if you would like to participate or not. If you decline, you will not complete the survey, be thanked for your time, and be able to exit. If you agree to be in this study, you will be asked to complete a survey that includes the following questionnaires or measures: (1) a general demographic form, (2) the three measures of ASD traits (i.e., SRS-2, AQ-10, BAPQ), (3) a physical activity habits and potential barriers questionnaire, (4) a survey regarding individual motivations towards physical activity, (5) a body-image related emotions questionnaire (6) and their ability to identify and describe emotions and their own feelings on a questionnaire (i.e. Toronto Alexithymia Scale).. Please be sure to avoid responding with any personal information like names or addresses in the questionnaire responses. The survey should take between 30-45 minutes to complete. Once the survey is complete, responses will be automatically sent to the researchers.

There are no foreseeable risks involved in participating in this research beyond those experienced in everyday life

There are no direct benefits to you from participation, but results and information gathered from this study will help us with future research regarding how to increase physical activity engagement in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Everyone who completes the study has the option of receiving potential compensation by entering a random drawing for $25. Of those leaving their contact information, 1 in every 25 students will win a $25 Visa gift card. The drawing will occur at the end of all data collection. In order to choose a winner, you will be asked to provide your name, email address, and home address should you wish to be entered into the drawing. This information will be asked at the end of the survey and will removed and stored separately from any data responses. The contact information will only be used to be entered into the Visa gift card drawing.  If you do not wish to be entered into the drawing, you will not need to provide your contact information.
All information will be kept confidential. Informed consent forms will be separated from the data before any data handling begins. Informed consent forms will be stored indefinitely in a secure, password protected computer that only the student investigator, Dakota Morales, and the sponsor, Dr. Denise Davidson, Will have access to. Data will only be reported in general form, no individual data will be presented or published. All data will be coded so that names do not appear on any questionnaires. Only the student investigator and sponsor (Dr. Denise Davidson) will have access to the data. Upon completion of the research study, all data will be kept on password-protected computers/external hard drives for five years. Contact information for the random drawing will be kept separate from your responses to ensure confidentiality. Confidentiality will be maintained to the degree permitted by the technology used. Your participation in this online study involves risks similar to a person’s everyday use of the Internet. When responding to a question, please refrain from including any personal information such as your name or contact information. If you wish to participate in our random drawing, you will be asked for your contact information at the end of the survey. This information will be detached from your survey responses and will only be used to select a winner at random from those providing their contact information. At no time will your personal information be linked to your actual responses. Instead, identifying information will be removed from the dataset, with only a code number stored with the data. In order to draw a random winner, the code numbers and contact information will be kept on a Master List.  Both the Master List and the data will be kept in a secure, password protected file on my computer.

Voluntary Participation:
Participation in this study is voluntary. If you do not want to be in this study, you do not have to participate. Even if you decide to participate, you are free not to answer any question or to withdraw from participation at any time without penalty. We will not be able to extract anonymous data from the database should you wish to withdraw.

Contacts and Questions:
If you have questions about this research study, please feel free to contact Dakota Morales at or the faculty sponsor Dr. Denise Davidson at

If you have questions about your rights as a research participant, you may contact the Loyola University Office of Research Services at (773) 508-2689.
Statement of Consent:
Clicking yes below indicates that you have read the information provided above, have had an opportunity to ask questions, and agree to participate in this research study.

Question Title

* 1. Do you agree to consent to this research study?

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* 2. Would you like to be contacted for future research studies?

0 of 188 answered