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Ethics Approval Number: 2191364
Research Team Contact Details

The research team consists of Chief Investigator Dr Rachael Sharman (University of the Sunshine Coast), and Mr Steven Eime (Student Researcher).  Please direct questions to:

Chief Investigator

Dr Rachael Sharman
Telephone: (07) 54565 073
Student Investigator

Steven Eime
Mobile: 0466 402 199

Project Description

The purpose of this research project is to explore how your perceptions of the self are affected by your social interactions. If you are over the age of 20, you are invited to participate in this anonymous online survey examining the relationship between self-concept and depressive symptoms across the adult life-span.


If you agree to participate in this research, you will be asked to complete an online survey that will take approximately 30-40 minutes of your time. This completely anonymous survey will ask you to use a list of self-attributes to describe yourself in roles that are common to most people (e.g., self with friends and self with family). It will also ask about your social media activity (e.g., time) and a short measure of your psychological well-being.

The survey is conducted using SurveyMonkey’s secure web-based platform, which allows you to save your responses and complete the survey in more than one sitting. However, once a page is completed, you will be unable to return or edit a previously completed page.

Your participation in this research project is completely voluntary. If you do not wish to take part, you are not required to do so. Further, if you choose to participate, you are free to stop the survey at any time. Should you choose to participate, your responses will contain no identifiable information or data. As such, if you participate, responses cannot be withdrawn.

Your decision to participate (or not), will in no way impact your current or future relationship with the University of the Sunshine Coast.


Consent to participate in this research is implied by the completion of the survey. The research team will not be able to identify if you choose to participate.

Consent is for the use of your non-identifiable data and information in this research project, and future research conducted by the same team.
Risks and Benefits

There is a minimal risk associated with your participation in this research project.  Sometimes thinking about the presence of depressive symptoms may lead to uncomfortable or distressing feelings. If you need to talk to someone about this immediately, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

This survey will require 30-40 minutes of your valuable time and is unlikely to benefit you directly. On the other hand, should you choose to participate, this survey will likely enhance your insight into how you perceive yourself across your many roles. Further, your responses will contribute to an increased understanding of how social media is changing self-concept development across the adult life span.

Privacy, Confidentiality and Results

Any data collected as a part of this research project will be stored securely as per USC’s Research Data Management policy. All comments and responses will be treated as confidential unless required by law. The results of this research project may be presented at external or internal conferences or meetings, or by publication. If you would like a summary of the findings of this research project, please contact the Chief Investigator (listed above).

Concerns or Complaints

Any concerns or complaints about the way this research project is being conducted can be raised with the Chief Investigator (listed above). If you prefer an independent person, contact the Chairperson of the USC Human Research Ethics Committee: (Office of Research, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC 4558; telephone (07) 5430 2823; email:

Thank you for your consideration of this study. Please keep this sheet for your information.
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