Study Information

Dear caregivers,
My name is Jeanna Song and I’m recruiting participants for a Master level research project associated with the Queen’s University. Please find detailed study information below. Thank you!

The current study aims to explore the differences in behaviors, symptoms, and experiences, for boys and girls with diagnoses in (or are under investigation for) ASD. Hopefully the findings will bring lights on the reasons behind this diagnostic gender gap and make it easier for girls with autism to receive diagnoses and treatments.

You are invited to participate in the study carried out by a Master level research student from Queen’s University at Belfast. The main study include a short questionnaire which takes less than 30 minutes to complete. 

Data Protection:
You might be asked to provide contact information along with the consent form, which will be used for contact purpose only (sending links to online questionnaires and setting up interviews).
After we receive your consent to participate, you will be assigned a study ID number, which will be used to identify your data from the questionnaires and interviews. None of the data you provide will be labelled by your name or any other identifiable information.
Once the data collection process is complete, the contact information will be destroyed and discarded in line with QUB guideline. All data collected for the study will also be destroyed under the QUB guideline after five years.

Voluntary Participation:
You have complete freedom to choose whether or not to participate in this study. We have only contacted you because the parents thought that you might be interested. You are under no obligation to take part. If you wish not to be part of the research, there will be no consequences for you, nor would hurt your relationship with the family. It is clearly stated in the parental information sheet that teachers and ASD club leaders can decide whether or not to participate on their own. You can choose which part of the study you wish to participate in (questionnaires or interviews) and skip any questions on the questionnaire/during the interview. You are also free to withdraw from the study at any time during the study up until the point of data analysis (expected September 5th, 2018), with no explanation needed.

The data collected through this study will aid the understanding in reasons behind the ASD diagnostic gender gap and will be used to help girls with/under investigation for autism. The finding from this study will hopefully bring awareness to professionals and consequently improve the current difficulties parents of girls have in receiving ASD diagnoses and treatments.
These is minimal harms to participate in the study. The questionnaires and interviews might be time-consuming and adds extra workloads to teachers and ASD club leaders. However, participation is completely voluntary and can be withdrawn at any time.

Ethics Approval:
The current study is approved by the QUB School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) Ethics Committee. If you have any concerns regarding the study procedures or data handling, please contact the approval body via research supervisor: Dr. Laura Dunne.

Researcher Contact Details:
Jeanna Song

Research Supervisor Contact Details:
Dr. Laura Dunne

By continuing onto the next page, you are agreeing to the following:
  • I have read the information that explains the study.
  • I understand that the study is asking me to fill out a questionnaire regarding a child’s behaviors and traits.
  • I understand that all the information gathered will be kept strictly confidential and that my name, the child’s name, and the name of the organisation/school will not be included in any reports.
  • I understand that participation is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw my consent at any time (until the point of data analysis, expected September 5th, 2018).
  • I understand that this research will be published in form of a Masters dissertation