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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Bias in student survey findings from active parental consent procedures (Paper: Thérèse Shaw et al 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on May 29, 2015

PAPER: Shaw, T., Cross, D., Thomas, L. T. and Zubrick, S. R. (2015), Bias in student survey findings from active parental consent procedures. British Educational Research Journal, 41: 229–243. doi: 10.1002/berj.3137

Increasingly, researchers are required to obtain active (explicit) parental consent prior to surveying children and adolescents in schools. This study assessed the potential bias present in a sample of actively consented students, and in the estimates of associations between variables obtained from this sample. Students (n = 3496) from 36 non-government metropolitan schools in Perth, Western Australia completed an online survey in 2010 as part of the Cyber Friendly Schools Project. Students with active (35%) and passive (65%) parental consent were compared on a range of variables including demographic, bullying and social–emotional outcomes. The moderating effects of consent status were also tested. Comparisons of the two consent groups showed that older students and students involved in problem behaviours such as bullying others, with lower pro-social scores, who lived with one parent and reported doing less well academically than their peers, were underrepresented in the sample with active parental consent. Additionally, consent status was a significant moderator of the associations between bullying victimisation and certain social–emotional variables. Active only parental consent leads to biased samples and biased estimates of associations between outcomes of interest, which could lead to miss-targeted behavioural policies and interventions. Strategies to boost response rates to levels sufficient to warrant the conduct of the research are labour-intensive and costly, and the obtained samples are still likely to be biased. For low risk research, such as bullying surveys, rigorous active–passive consent procedures which result in higher participation rates, lower costs and reduced burden on teachers and schools, are recommended.

Resources for Research Ethics Education0

Posted by Admin in on May 29, 2015

“The subject of this document is research ethics. The focus of “research ethics” is a very practical one: How should we as researchers act? Unfortunately, the choices we face are not always clear. And even those cases that are clear may at times be better characterized as “right vs. right” rather than “right vs. wrong,” For these reasons, our obligation is not necessarily to make the right decisions, but to strive to make the best possible decisions. In this context, “ethics” should not be confused with ethical theory, morality, and/or simply following the rules.

“As you read this document, please consider it only a starting point. You are encouraged to raise questions and initiate discussion about these issues with your teachers, your mentors, your peers, or your students or trainees. These discussions are the foundation for promoting awareness and understanding of the highest standards of responsible conduct of research.”

Research Involving Persons with Mental Disorders That May Affect Decisionmaking Capacity (Report 1998)0

Posted by Admin in on May 29, 2015

Volume I: Report and Recommendations of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission.

“In this report, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) considers how ethically acceptable research can be conducted with human subjects who suffer from mental disorders that may affect their decisionmaking capacity; whether, in this context, additional protections are needed; and, if so, what they should be and how they should be implemented. In addition, this report provides an opportunity for investigators, Institutional Review Board (IRB) members, persons with mental disorders and their families, and the general public to become better informed about the importance of such research and what we believe are the appropriate protections for the human subjects involved.”

Research Ethics Online Training0

Posted by Admin in on May 29, 2015

Online training resource produced and hosted by Global Health Training Centre based upon an e-Learning course and resource package designed and produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) for use by internal staff.

“Research is a vital ingredient for improved global health and scientifically sound and ethically appropriate research is especially important in resource-poor settings where the need for locally applicable research findings is so great. Therefore the WHO has very kindly granted permission for the adaption of this resource in a format and platform that is accessible to all.