The Sexual Minority College Student Mental Health Project Survey

1. Information Statement

 

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

INFORMATION STATEMENT

THE SEM PROJECT: THE SEXUAL MINORITY COLLEGE STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH PROJECT

Researchers: Richard H. Nobles, M.S. (principal investigator), Ana Mari Cauce, Ph.D., (primary advisor to the principal investigator), Marissa Corona, Rick Cruz, Sinead Hennessy, and Briana Woods

Department of Psychology | University of Washington | Box 351525 | Seattle, WA 98195-1525 | (206) 543-2199 | smstudy@u.washington.edu

Please remember that we cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any information sent by e-mail.

Researchers’ Statement: We are asking you to be in a research study. The purpose of this information statement is to give you the information you will need to help you decide whether to be in the study or not. Please read the form carefully. You may ask questions via phone or email about the purpose of the research, what we will ask you to do, the possible risks and benefits, your rights as a volunteer, and anything else about the research or this form that is not clear. Again, please remember that we cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any information sent over email. You are advised to call the principal investigator, Richard Nobles, at 206.543.2199 if you have any questions. When we have answered all your questions, you can decide if you want to be in the study or not. This process is called “informed consent.” You may save or print a copy of this form for your records, or you may contact the principal investigator to request that a copy of the information statement be sent to you.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this research project is to learn more about the mental health and life experiences of sexual minority (e.g., gay, lesbian, bisexual, non-heterosexual, and people who have sex with others of the same sex) undergraduate college and university students in the United States who are aged 18 to 25.

Only enrolled undergraduate students who are at least 18 years of age and younger than 25 years of age are invited to participate in the study.

The purpose of the study is to help researchers understand how certain stressors affect the mental health of sexual minority undergraduates. We estimate that the survey will take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete.

STUDY PROCEDURES

If you agree to take part in this study, you will fill out an online questionnaire. Please take your time to read each question carefully. The questionnaire includes a range of questions about your experiences, including questions about discrimination, stigma awareness, and homophobia. The questionnaire also includes questions about alcohol and drug consumption, sexual activity, and other questions about your current mental health. Some of the most sensitive questions included are about recent drugs and/or alcohol use (e.g., how much and often you consume alcohol), engaging in risky sexual behavior (e.g., if you have engaged in sexual behaviors in exchange for payment or drugs), your health status (e.g., if you have ever contracted a sexually transmitted disease), current feelings of depression or anxiety, experiences with physical or verbal victimization, and experiences with internalized homophobia (e.g., if you dislike yourself because of your sexual orientation). You do not have to answer questions you do not want to answer and you may exit the survey at any time.

RISKS, STRESS, OR DISCOMFORT

Some of the questions asked in the survey are personal and sensitive. You may experience stress or discomfort in answering some questions. You may discontinue the study at any time or simply skip the question(s) that you do not want to answer. Should discomfort arise during or after the completion of the survey and if you would like to have someone to talk to, please contact the Student Counseling Center or equivalent on your campus. In the case of an emergency crisis, please call the National Hopeline Center by calling 1.800.SUICIDE or visit them at http://www.hopeline.com). University of Washington students may call the Student Counseling Center is at 206-543-1240. The Counseling Center is located at 401 Schmitz Hall. Individuals residing in the Seattle metropolitan area can also call the Seattle Crisis Clinic at (206) 461-3222 in the event of an emergency.

BENEFITS OF THE STUDY

Although there is no direct benefit to you for participating in this study, your participation will benefit society through giving us information that will lead us to understand the experiences of this population and improving services for college and university students.

OTHER INFORMATION

Taking part in this study is voluntary and you can stop participating at any time. You are free to skip any questions that you do not want to answer. All of your responses are completely anonymous, which means that your answers will not be linked to your identity. The survey service will not track your Internet Protocol (IP) address. Your data will be stored in computerized form with a study identification number that is assigned to you. All data will be stored on a password-protected computer that only the investigators can access. Your data will be kept indefinitely. You may refuse to participate or may withdraw from the study at any time without penalty You may print, save, or email yourself a copy of this information statement for your future reference. You may also contact the primary investigator (Richard Nobles, smstudy@u.washington.edu) if you wish to receive a hard copy of the information statement for your records.

Richard H. Nobles, M.S.

Printed name of researcher

Subject’s statement

The SEM Project has been explained to me. I volunteer to take part in this research. I have had a chance to ask questions. If I have questions later about the research, I can contact one of the researchers listed above. If I have questions about my rights as a research subject, I can call the University of Washington’s Human Subjects Division at (206) 543-0098. I have had an opportunity to obtain a copy of this information statement.

If you do not agree to participate in this research, please click the “Click here to exit the survey” URL at the top of the screen.

Information Statement

Version 3

15 December 2008

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