Why is this study important?
The purpose of this study is to improve our understanding of stress and the impact of stress on people’s lives. What do people find stressful? What sorts of things do we do to avoid stress? What sorts of things do we do differently when we have stress in our lives? How do these decisions about stress change and shape our lives?
In addition, because we have interviewed two generations of individuals (parents and their children), we expect to learn how children are similar to and different from their parents. Do children have the same stresses as their parents did at the same age? Do they make the same decisions about how to cope with their stress? If they make different sorts of decisions, Why? What is different about the children’s lives and stresses that cause them to behave differently?
Who is conducting this study?
Dr. Howard Kaplan of Texas A&M University is conducting this study. Temple University’s Institute for Survey Research (ISR) is locating participants and administering the interviews for this National Institutes of Health funded study.
Dr. Kaplan is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology. Dr. Kaplan has received many awards and honors for his outstanding work in sociology. For instance, the title “Distinguished Professor” is given to very few professors at Texas A&M. It means that the university and other sociology professors around the country believe that he is one of the top 5 percent of scholars in his field and that he has contributed new and important ideas to the study of sociology. For more information on Dr. Kaplan, and to view his curriculum vitae (an academic resume) click here.
Much of what Dr. Kaplan has been able to add to the field has been as a result of the studies he has conducted over more than thirty years of research. He has published his findings in nearly 200 publications, including book chapters, journal articles and books. To see a copy of his publication list, or to request a copy of an article, click here.
Dr. Kaplan is specifically interested in how people respond to stress. He is trying to bring new understanding to what stress really is, and to the question of why some people deal with stress better than others, and especially why some people make choices that may cause them even more stress in the long run. If we can learn what things cause people to feel stressed, and what things relieve stress and have good results then we might be able to use this knowledge to improve our lives. We can use this knowledge to try to understand why some people commit crimes, use drugs, or drop-out of school, and possibly we can discover better ways to try to keep these problems from happening in the future.
Who can participate in this study?
Participants in this study are the young adult children of Dr. Kaplan’s original study group. The participants in this study were all interviewed at least once before this study. For a list of the various phases of the study, click here. For a history and short description of the studies Dr. Kaplan has conducted in the past, click here.
The young adults in this study were interviewed between 1994 and 1999. When they were first interviewed, they were 12 or 13 years old. During this study, we hope to interview them when they are 21 to 24 years old.
What will participants do during the study?
The people who participate in this study will be interviewed by professional interviewers from the Institute for Survey Research. Most of these interviews will be done in person, at the person’s home or some other convenient location. Individuals who live too far from an interviewer, will be interviewed by telephone. The interview is about two hours long and includes questions about things like work, school, and family or personal relationships. The questions are the same types of questions that the participants’ parents have answered in the past. (To see a history of the study, click here.)
How do participants benefit from being in the study?
Every participant is paid $25 in appreciation for completing an interview. More importantly though, we believe that participants are pleased to be a part of this study. By doing so, participants are contributing to our knowledge of stress and how it affects the choices we make. This knowledge informs policy makers, educators, and the health care community.
How to contact the research team to learn more or to participate in the study?
Send inquired to: email@example.com
For more information about this study or Dr. Kaplan’s earlier research, call 1-979-845-8026. Please ask to speak to Sandra McLean. You can also send email to: .
How do we protect confidentiality and privacy?
We take many precautions to protect privacy. When an interview has been completed answers are entered in the computer as numerical codes. All personal information (name, address, and phone number) is separated from responses. Information obtained during the computer-assisted interviews from all of the participants will be combined. Then analysts in Dr. Kaplan’s office at Texas A&M will compute statistics based on group responses. No individual response or person is every identified.
The interviewers who record answers have taken a Pledge of Confidentiality. This means that they have promised not to discuss study participants or any of their replies. No interviewer is ever allowed to interview anyone they are related to, or even someone they know.
The study also has a Certificate of Confidentiality, given to Dr. Kaplan by the Public Health Service. This Certificate, issued under section 301(d) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 241(d), provides that, “Persons authorized by the NIH to protect the privacy of research subjects may not be compelled in any Federal, State, or local civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceedings to identify them by name or other identifying characteristic.”
Privacy is very important to us, Dr. Kaplan has taken every precaution available to protect it.