Page 1: Project information

TITLE OF PROJECT: Characterising Social Interaction Styles Across Development


We would like to invite you to take part in a research study that we are conducting at Durham University. The project is supervised by Professor Deborah Riby and is in collaboration with Professor Sue Leekam (Cardiff University). Please read this information before you decide to take part, it will explain why the research is being done and what it will involve. If there is anything you are unclear about after you have read this information, please feel free to ask questions. We can be contacted by email or by phone using the contact details at the bottom of this page. The study has been approved by the Department of Psychology Ethics Committee at Durham University.


Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study is to aid our understanding of social behaviours and social interaction styles across the childhood/adolesence period. This study is part of a larger research project looking at social interaction styles across populations with atypical development. Therefore, this online questionnaire is also being completed by parents of children with developmental conditions. 


Who are the researchers?

Miss Ellen Ridley is the PhD student  working on this project with Professor Deborah Riby (Durham University) as supervisor. The project is being run in collaboration with Professor Sue Leekam (Cardiff University). The researchers are part of the Centre for Developmental Disorders at Durham University.


Why have I been asked to take part?

Families with children aged 4-17 years old are being asked to take part in this research. You have a child within the age range we would like to include in our research.


What will the study involve?

If you agree to take part, you will be asked to complete an online survey which takes approximately 30-45 minutes. The survey will ask questions about your child's social interactions with peers and adults, everyday behaviours and aspects of social vulnerability. At the end of the survey, you will be asked if you wish to provide an email address for us to send you one further questionnaire in the post. This extra questionnaire will help gain further insight into social interaction styles. This is entirely optional and it is fine if you do not want to provide contact details. We will keep this information secure and it will only be used by the research team to contact you later in the project (these email addresses will be deleted by 1st January 2019 and all information will be anonymous at that point). 


What are the benefits of taking part in the study?

We hope that there will be many future benefits of this research in terms of furthering our understanding of social interaction styles throughout childhood/adolesence. By looking at social profiles across developmental conditions we hope these findings will provide important information to help develop targeted interventions to support both children and the wider family unit in terms of healthly social interactions and potential social vulnerability. 


What are the disadvantages of taking part in the study?

We hope there will be very few disadvantages to taking part in this study. One disadvantage may be the time required to complete the questionnaire, however we have tried to keep this to a minimum and hope it will take as little time as possible, while still providing us with important information. We have provided a 'finish later' button at the bottom of each page. This gives you the option to take a break and return to finish the survey later (saving your responses). 


Do I have to take part in the study?

Your participation is voluntary and you do not have to agree to take part. If you have given us your email address within the questionnaire we will be able to identify your answers and could withdraw these upon your request (by emailing the researchers) up until 1st January 2019. All other data will be unidentifiable and indeed after 1st January 2019 data will be anonymised for all participants. Anonymised data will be kept by the research team on this project and may be used for research publications. If you do take part, you will be asked to sign a consent form on the next page and then will be able to complete the questionnaire.


What will happen to the data?

All information obtained during the study will be kept confidential and if the data are published they will not be identifiable as yours. All data will be kept strictly confidential and secure in accordance with Data Protection Legislation. The anonymised data will be stored on a password-protected computer and in locked filling cabinets and will not be available to anyone other than myself and my supervisors. 


What will happen to the results?

The results of this study will be available in a report. A copy of this report will be available on request after January 2019 when the study is complete. It will not be possible to identify participants from this report. We are aware that some parents may be very interested in their child's individual results from the measures completed, however due to the research nature of the study, this information cannot be given on an individual basis. If we seek to publish the paper, the results from each participant will remain entirely anonymous and no individually identifiable information would be published. We will retain the anonymised research data for a period of 10 years after any publication as required of us. 


Any further questions...

Thank you for reading this information and considering taking part in this study. If you have any further questions, we would be happy to discuss them with you. You can contact us using the details below.

Contact information:

Miss Ellen Ridley: ellen.ridley@durham.ac.uk  

Professor Deborah Riby: deborah.riby@durham.ac.uk / 0191 3343247


We would greatly appreciate your support with our research.

If you do wish to take part, the next few pages include an important privacy notice and consent form that we are required to share with you as part of Data Protection Legislation.