Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Please Participate in a Research Study on Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, and Attachment

Please take this short 15 minute survey being conducted by Luke Fullagar, a friend working toward his Bachelor of Psychology degree in Australia. There only two exclusion factors: (1) You must be over 18 years of age; (2) You can not have had any formal training in mindfulness practice. If you've trained in other types of meditation or only dabbled with mindfulness, rather than receiving formal instruction, then you're perfectly qualified to participate.

Luke asked for this clarification to be included here:
"To be 100% clear for everyone reading this - we're strictly only excluding those who have undertaken formal courses specifically in mindfulness, and not in other forms of meditation. If you've done plenty of mindfulness, but haven't received a single formal course of specific instruction from start to finish, then you're cool to do it."
Here is the material from the survey site (go here to take the brief survey):

Dear Prospective Participant,

You are invited to participate in a research project being conducted by RMIT University. This information sheet describes the project in straightforward language, or ‘plain English’. Please read this sheet carefully and be confident that you understand its contents before deciding whether to participate. If you have any questions about the project, please ask one of the investigators.

Who is involved in this research project? Why is it being conducted?

The research project is being conducted by Luke Fullagar, as part of a Bachelor of Psychology degree, under the supervision of Associate Professor Andrew Francis. The purpose of the research is to explore relationships between security of attachment in close relationships, mindfulness and difficulties with regulation of emotion. The project has been approved by the RMIT Human Research Ethics Committee.

Why have you been approached?

You have been invited to participate in this study because you are a member of the general public and are over 18 years old, and have not previously received formal mindfulness meditation training.

What is the project about? What are the questions being addressed?

Research has shown that both security in attachment relationships and mindfulness impact on one's capacity to regulate their emotions, and that security in attachment relationships also impacts on one's mindfulness This study is researching the direction of these relationships, and in particular, whether mindfulness accounts for some or all of the impact security in attachment relationships has on one's capacity to regulate their emotions.

If I agree to participate, what will I be required to do?

Should you choose to participate, you will be given access to complete a series of questionnaires online here on this website. You will be asked to respond to questions about your experiences in close relationships, mindfulness and difficulties with regulating your emotions, as well as basic demographic information: (age, gender, relationship and occupation status). The questionnaires will take approximately 15 minutes to complete in total. You will not be asked to provide your name and contact details.

The questionnaire comprises four sections. The first section asks for the above noted basic demographic information. The remaining sections include questions relating to: your close relationship experiences (e.g. "I do not often worry about being abandoned" or "I find that my partner(s) don't want to get as close as I would like"); your mindfulness behaviour (e.g. "When I have distressing thoughts or images, I just notice them and let them go" or "I find myself doing things without paying attention"); and your difficulties with emotion regulation (e.g. "I know exactly how I am feeling" or "I have difficulty making sense out of my feelings").

What are the risks or disadvantages associated with participation?

The foreseeable risks are associated with participation in this study are related to potentially feeling discomfort or becoming distressed by focusing on your relationship patterns. Some items ask you to report experiences that may be distressing, such as behaviour patterns when you are upset. Any discomfort felt by you as a participant as a result of completing the questionnaires should be minimal, and of the nature that can be experienced in day-to-day life.

If you are concerned about any of your responses to any of the questionnaire items or if you find participation in the project distressing, you should contact your general practitioner or one of the following helplines:

In Australia:
  • Beyondblue - 1300 224 636 - A confidential information line for referral to relevant services for depression and anxiety related matters
  • Lifeline - 13 11 14 (cost of a local call) - All calls are one-on-one with a trained mental health professional, and completely confidential. Operates 24 hours a day.
In the U.S.:
  • 1-800-SUICIDE, a national suicide prevention hotline, 24/7/365
  • 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a national crisis intervention service, 24/7/365
You may also contact Luke Fullagar or A.Prof. Andrew Francis if you wish at any point in the study to discuss concerns.

What are the benefits associated with participation?

Whilst there are no direct benefits to you as a result of your participation in this study, your participation will assist in improving our understanding of how individual differences in attachment security and mindfulness may affect emotion regulation. You will not be compensated for participation. Student participants will not receive course credit for participation.

What will happen to the information I provide?

The information provided by you will be treated confidentially. None of the information you provide will identifiable to you. The only individuals with access to this information are the researcher and researcher supervisors. The findings from this study will be disseminated in a student report and may be published in psychological journals, conferences academic publications and in media releases; however only group data will be presented, and individual data will not be used. The collected data will be securely stored at RMIT University for a minimum of five years, and then destroyed.

Because of the nature of data collection, we are not obtaining written informed consent from you. Instead, we assume that you have given consent by your completion and submission of the questionnaire materials.

What are my rights as a participant?

As a participant, you have the right to withdraw their participation at any time, without prejudice or penalty. You also have the right to have any unprocessed data withdrawn and destroyed, provided it can be reliably identified, and provided that so doing does not increase the risk for the participant. You also have the right to have any questions answered at any time.

Whom should I contact if I have any questions?

If you have any questions, you should contact Mr Luke Fullagar (s3366762@student.rmit.edu.au), or Associate Professor Andrew Francis (+61 3 9925 7782 or andrew.francis@rmit.edu.au).

What other issues should I be aware of before deciding whether to participate?

Security of the website

Users should be aware that the World Wide Web is an insecure public network that gives rise to the potential risk that a user’s transactions are being viewed, intercepted or modified by third parties or that data which the user downloads may contain computer viruses or other defects.

Security of the data

This project will use an internal site to create, collect and analyse data collected in a survey format. The site we are using is RMIT's Qualtrics service. If you agree to participate in this survey, the responses you provide to the survey will be stored on a host server that is used by RMIT.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Luke Fullagar
BA (UTS), LLB (Hons.) (UTS), Grad Dip in Legal Practice (UTS), Grad Dip Laws (USyd) (Current), Grad Dip Psych (Monash), BApplied Sci (Psych) (Hons) (RMIT) (Current). Student Researcher.

Associate Professor Andrew Francis
B.BSc (Hon), Ph.D., Lecturer and Registered Psychologist. Supervisor.

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