Plain Language Information Statement

 
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Dear Potential Participant,

Thank you for your interest in this research project. If you are a father aged 18 and over and have a child between the ages of 1 and 6, you are invited to participate in a study exploring predictors of father involvement in child health care. The study is being conducted through Federation University Australia under the supervision of Dr Angela Gent and Dr Denise Corboy, and approval of the study has been granted by the Federation University Human Research Ethics Committee. Although initially focused in Australia, we are also interested in the experience of fathers internationally.

The study aims to investigate the factors associated with father involvement in their children’s health care in a general sample of adult fathers. Research suggests father involvement in the lives of young children is associated with a range of positive outcomes for children in the future. We are keen to better understand what helps fathers be involved in the ‘health care’ of their children. In particular, we want to explore to what degree motivation, skills and self-confidence, social support and institutional barriers play a part. We are interested in the role played by fathers, where both the mother and father of the child(ren) are involved in their care, but not necessarily living in the same household. The information gained from the study will be of value to health professionals seeking to increase father involvement in child health care, in order to increase positive outcomes for children.

Participation in the study requires the completion of a brief survey. The survey will include questions regarding background information, father involvement in health care (e.g., “making medical appointments”), questions regarding fathering skills (e.g., “Sometimes I feel like I’m not getting anything done”), and questions regarding social support (e.g., “child’s mother compliments you”). Some of the questions also address concepts that have been associated with traditional masculine ideals, and will therefore ask about your attitudes towards women (e.g., “a man should always be the boss”), sexual behaviours and attitudes towards homosexuality.

Participation in the study is completely voluntary, and will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. Participation will be anonymous, and you can withdraw now or at any stage while completing the questionnaire, with no explanation required. Please note that completing the questionnaire is an indication that you understand the nature of the research and that you are freely volunteering and consenting to participate in the research. Further, it should be noted that once questionnaires are submitted, due to the anonymity of the study, we are unable to recover and withdraw individual data at that stage. All of the data obtained from the questionnaires are and will remain completely anonymous. The data will be stored securely and appropriately, and will be deleted after a minimum period of five years following any publications arising from the study. Only the associated researchers will have access to the raw data and once finalised, full results of the study may also be presented at conferences, and reported in academic publications. It is unlikely that any sensitive personal issues will be provoked or any distress will be caused due to the questions asked. Should any distress occur please contact Lifeline, which is a 24 hour counselling assistance service, (phone: 13 11 14, or visit their website: http://www.lifeline.org.au/).

You are welcome to discuss any questions that you may have during, or at the conclusion of the questionnaire package, with one of the principal researchers Dr. Angela Gent or Dr. Denise Corboy. If you would like a copy of the results please contact one of the principal researchers, whose details are on the next page. Results will be available early 2017.

Thank you for considering participation in this research.

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