About the study

Participant information and consent details (2020)

Participant Information Sheet 2020

This study is interested in examining the relationship between exposure to adverse experiences in childhood and wellbeing in adulthood. It is an important study because it will be the first to find out how many people were exposed to any form of maltreatment and will provide important information on how to protect children in the future.

We are interested in the responses of all Australians not just those who experienced difficulties in childhood. The study is being led by Professor Ben Mathews at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and has been approved by the QUT Human Research Ethics Committee (approval number 190000477).

Participation involves taking part in two telephone interviews 3-4 weeks apart. The first interview will take about 15-20 minutes. The second interview asks a small subset of the same questions and will take 5 minutes. The interview will ask about your childhood, including if you were exposed to any maltreatment, and about your current health. The interviews will be recorded for quality assurance. Most people even those with difficult childhoods do not find answering the questions difficult but if you experience any distress support will be provided to you. You will not receive any money or compensation for participation. All responses you give will be confidential as far as the law allows. Your answers are not stored with your phone number and we will not ask your name or address details. Confidentiality can only be broken in order to ensure safety if you or someone else is at risk of imminent risk of serious harm. For example, if you report you are currently being abused we may be obligated to report this for your own safety.

You are free to refuse to answer any questions or to withdraw from the study without penalty. If you withdraw from the study any answers you had given will be deleted. You can change your answers, withdraw from the study or request a copy of your answers at any time while the survey is still open by talking to your interviewer or calling the project hotline on 1800 023 040. The survey will be open for one year and will remain open for 2 months after the last interview to allow people to change or withdraw their answers. All audio recordings will be deleted when the project is completed. Once the study is finished your anonymous answers will be combined with those of other participants and may be used in other studies.

You will be asked if you are willing to be contacted about future studies and are free to decline. No data personally linked with you will be used in other studies without your express consent. If you later choose to participate in follow up study you can provide consent for data collected in this study to be used in that study and your data may be shared.

You do not need to decide if you wish to participate now. You can read more about the study on the study website or I can send you information if you like. If you provide your email it will be stored separately from any responses you may subsequently provide and will be destroyed after the project’s completion.

Consent information

The next part requires you to confirm you wish to participate. By saying you consent at the end you are indicating that:

  • You understand this project involves answering questions about your childhood (including any adverse experiences) and questions about your current health. Most people even with difficult childhoods do not find these questions distressing.
  • Participation involves two interviews. The first interview will take approximately 15 minutes. The second interview will take 5 minutes, three weeks from today.
  • You are free to withdraw your consent at any time without explanation and can request to have your data removed.
  • You can choose not to answer certain questions without penalty.
  • The interview does not ask for any identifying information.
  • Your responses are confidential as far as the law allows. If you indicate that you or someone else is in imminent danger your privacy may be broken in order to ensure safety. For example, if you are currently experiencing abuse we may be obligated to report this for your safety.
  • Your interview will be recorded and retained during the data collection process after which it will be deleted.
  • You will be asked if you are willing to be recontacted for subsequent studies and are free to decline. No data personally linked with you will be used without your subsequent and express consent. However, your anonymous data as part of a large dataset may be used in other studies.
  • You can ask any questions now before consenting. If you have any additional questions you can contact the Social Research Centre on 1800 023 040 or at acms@srcentre.com.au or the research team on the number provided.
  • Understand that if you have concerns about the ethical conduct of the research project you can contact the QUT Research Ethics Advisory Team on 07 3138 5123 or email humanethics@qut.edu.au.
  • Knowing all of the above do you agree to participate in the research project.



Our partners

The ACMS is proud to partner with the National Health and Medical Research Council, The Social Research Centre, and the Australian Government on this important project. For more information about our partners please click here.