Adverse childhood experiences and future recovery
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Participant Information Sheet
Version 4 (05.02.2020)
IRAS Project ID: 265015

Research Title: Adverse childhood experiences and future recovery
(Protocol: Version 3 28.10.2019)

We would like to invite you to take part in a research study being conducted by a student researcher from the University of Central Lancashire and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. Before you decide whether or not to take part, we would like you to take time to read through this form and ask any questions that you may have.

If you have any questions, please use the contact details provided, at the end of the information sheet, to contact the research team.

What is the purpose of the study?

This research is looking at childhood experiences (such as placement in care or difficult early experiences) and outcomes in adulthood (such as thoughts about yourself and others, and potential positive aspects of your life). The project aims to invite people who may feel they have experienced adverse experiences in childhood, and also those who have not. It also aims to explore factors, such as the childhood experiences, and recovery from challenging experiences, of those in the community and secure settings (such as prison and secure psychiatric services).

This research will form part of a PhD project and Stage 2 Forensic Psychology exemplar for Rebecca Ozanne, a student at the University of Central Lancashire and Research Assistant/Trainee Forensic Psychologist at Mersey Care NHS Trust.

Do I have to take part?

You do not have to participate in this research. This research is voluntary. It is advised that you take time to think about this information prior to deciding if you wish to take part. You may wish to return to the research at a later date. You may withdraw from this study at any point until you submit your responses. Responses are saved each time you progress to the next page of the online questionnaire. Once responses are collected, it will not be possible to separate your data from the data of others due to the anonymous nature of the research, as such you can not withdraw from this point onwards.

What will happen to me if I take part?

If you agree to take part, your consent will be implied based on the submission of your responses.

You will then be asked to answer a variety of questions. These questions are broken down into eight sections:
Section 1: Demographic information – This section asks questions about basic information such as your age and sex.
Section 2: My childhood experiences - This section asks you to complete tick boxes to note whether or not you feel you have experienced any form of childhood abuse.
Section 3: How I respond to stressful experiences – This section asks you questions about how you respond to stressful events, such as how you feel and think about them.
Section 3: My views on myself and others – This section include questions about your relationships with yourself and others.
Section 4: Protective factors – This section explores potential positive aspects in your life, such as positive relationships and life goals.
Section 5: How I recover from stressful events – This section explores how you recover from stressful events.
Section 6: How I view my experiences – This section has questions that relate to views on experiences of abuse and how this, if relevant, may have impacted you. As such, those who do not feel they have experienced childhood abuse will not be asked to complete this section.
Section 7: Disclosure – This section asks questions about responses to disclosure of abuse. Again, those who have not disclosed child abuse will not be asked to complete this section.

These questionnaires will take approximately 30-50 minutes to complete. You must also currently be over 18 years old to take part in this study, and be able to fully understand the information included on this information sheet (for example be able to read and comprehend the English language). Participation is voluntary and you are free to stop at any time.

What are the potential risks if I take part?

The research asks questions about potential difficult childhood experiences, including abuse, and it is possible that you may find this distressing. Support information is provided at the end of this information sheet should you wish to seek support.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

Participating in this study may have no direct benefit to you as the participant; however, it is hoped that it will provide a better understanding of how well you recover from difficult experiences, and what positive aspects are present in your life. This will be useful to develop our understanding of how individuals, include those in secure settings, can overcome difficult experiences in childhood.

What will happen when the research study stops?

Once questionnaires have been collected, you can no longer withdraw your data, as your name will not be on these and therefore impossible to identify your responses. The responses of those participating will be analysed. Data will be reported in the final PhD thesis and may also be used in peer reviewed journals, conference presentations, written feedback to research participants, or presentations. In addition to this, data may also be used and written up as part of the research component of the Stage 2 Qualification in Forensic Psychology. No individual responses will be reported. Only group data will be presented.

What if there is a problem?

If you experience any problems whilst participating in this research, please use the contact information provided to contact the research team.

Will the research be confidential?

The data collected for this research will be anonymous. Specifically, no identifiable information will be collected.

What will we do with your data?

Data will be stored on the electronic survey software and will then be downloaded into database software to be analysed.

The University of Central Lancashire is the sponsor for this research.

How will we use information about you?

We will need to use information from you for this research project. This information will include your anonymous responses to the questionnaires. People will use this information to do the research or to check your records to make sure that the research is being done properly. People who do not need to know who you are will not be able to see your name or contact details. Your data will have a code number instead. We will keep all information about you safe and secure. Once we have finished the study, we will keep some of the data so we can check the results. We will write our reports in a way that no-one can work out that you took part in the study.

What are your choices about how your information is used?
• You can stop being part of the study at any time, without giving a reason, but we will keep information about you that we already have.
• We need to manage your records in specific ways for the research to be reliable. This means that we won’t be able to let you see or change the data we hold about you.

Where can you find out more about how your information is used?
You can find out more about how we use your information
• at
• our leaflet available from
• by asking one of the research team (
• by ringing the Data Protection Officer for UCLan 01772 892561

Who has reviewed the study?
The study has been approved by the university ethics board. If you wish to contact someone independent of the research regarding this study, please contact the University Officer for Ethics via email:

Further information
If you have any questions please contact the research team via email (

If you wish to raise a complaint about this research, please contact the academic supervisor of this research project:

Professor Jane Ireland (

What if I need support in relation to the topics discussed in this research?

You may contact one of the support services provided below:

The Samaritans – The Samaritans offer 24/7 confidential emotional support - 08457 90 90 90;
Victim Support – offers free and confidential support to victims of crime, witnesses, and family and friends. - 08 08 16 89 111;
The Survivors Trust – offers support victims of sexual abuse -01788 550554;
The National Association for People abused in childhood – Supports individuals recovering from childhood abuse 0808 801 0331
Survivors UK – A London based charity solely for Male survivors of abuse, they offer offline counselling and web chat services - 02035983898 -
Survivors Manchester – A charity again for Male survivors of abuse - 0161 236 2182 -
Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS) - MACSAS supports women and men who have been sexually abused, as children or adults, by ministers, clergy or others under the guise of the Church - 08088 01 03 40 -
The Care Leavers' Foundation - offers support to individuals who have left care 01678540598
The Samaritans - The Samaritans offer support to individuals experiencing distress - 116123 -
Catch 22- Supports looked after children whilst in care and after they have left - 020 7336 4800 -