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The Influence of Social Media Use and Fitspiration Exposure on State Body Image

Plain Language Information Statement

Full Project Title: The influence of social media use and fitspiration exposure on state body image

Principal Researcher: Dr Jacquie Mills, jacquie.mills@cairnmillar.edu.au, 9813 3400
Student Researcher: Samantha Lavale, body.image.study.s@gmail.com, 9813 3400
Student Researcher: Samantha Decker, body.image.study.s@gmail.com, 9813 3400


Dear Participant:
This Plain Language Information Statement contains information about the research project. Its purpose is to explain to you the procedures involved in this project so that you can make a fully informed decision regarding your participation.

Participation is entirely voluntary and no identifying information will be collected. You have the right to withdraw at any time during the Phase 1 survey before submitting your responses. You can withdraw from participating in Phase 2 at any time by contacting the Principal Researcher and quoting your unique user ID generated for you by the InstantSurvey app.

As this survey is conducted online, your consent is implied by the submission of the completed survey. As such, the consent form and Plain Language Information Statement are presented in one document. Once you have finished reading this material you will be invited to commence the survey by clicking ‘Next’.

Why is this research being conducted?
Social media use is steadily increasing and recent data indicates almost 8 in 10 Australians use social media regularly. Social media usage also means an increase in social comparisons, particularly related to appearance, which can have a negative effect on body image. There is also a current trend for Fitspiration images (images that are designed to act as motivation to improve fitness and health) on social media that can negatively influence body image.

This research is being conducted to better understand the relationships between social media use, exposure to Fitspiration images, and body image in daily life. Specifically, we are interested in learning about the frequency and motivations for social media use and Fitspiration exposure as well as specific activities carried out on social media and any impacts this might have on body image throughout the day.

Why have I been approached?
This study will recruit female participants between the ages of 18 and 40. Although body image issues can affect almost any individual, research has consistently shown that body image issues are particularly common among women. The current study will therefore be focusing on this specific demographic.

Possible benefits
While there are no expected direct benefits to you participating in this study, you may become more aware of the triggers of negative or positive body image states that you experience throughout the day. Additionally, the findings may help us to better understand the relationships between social media use, Fitspiration and body image which can assist in developing more effective treatment alternatives to prevent and/or manage negative body image.

Possible risks
The anticipated risks from this study are low. You may experience some inconvenience due to the number of assessments, however, we understand that some assessments will inevitably be missed. There is a low risk of discomfort due to the nature of the questions being about body image. Please remember that you are free to withdraw from the study at any time prior to submitting the survey. You can also stop responding to the app-based surveys if you find them upsetting. There are no negative consequences to withdrawing from the study at any point. If you feel you need to speak with someone, we have provided details below where you can find extra support:

Lifeline
13 11 14

APS Find a Psychologist
http://www.psychology.org.au/FindaPsychologist/

SANE Australia
Phone: 1800 18 SANE (7263)
Email: helpline@sane.org

The Butterfly Foundation
Phone: 1800 33 4673
Email: support@thebutterflyfoundation.org.au
Web chat: https://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au/our-services/talk-to-someone/chat-online/

Who I can contact if I have any questions?
If you would like further information you can contact any of the researchers via email:

Principal Researcher: Jacquie Mills: jacquie.mills@cairnmillar.edu.au
Student Researchers: Samantha Lavale: body.image.study.s@gmail.com  Samantha Decker: body.image.study.s@gmail.com

If you have complaints about the conduct of the research project, you can contact the Secretary to the Ethics Committee whose contact details appear at the end of this form.

If I agree to participate, what will I need to do?
This project involves two phases: 1) Phase 1, an online questionnaire that will capture basic demographic information, as well as your general social media use and body image, and 2) Phase 2, an application (app)-based component, which will include questions about your current social media and Fitspiration engagement, along with your current body image experiences. If you agree to participate you will be asked to click the ‘Next’ button at the bottom of this page which will take you to the step-by-step instructions and screenshots on how to download and install the Instant Survey app for Phase 2. After you have installed Instant Survey, you will be required to enter the study code assigned to this study, which will direct you to the current study titled “Social Media and Body Image”. The app will provide you with a unique user ID that you will need to enter into the Phase 1 questionnaire. This unique user ID simply allows your survey data to be linked to your app data, however please note that all information remains anonymous and securely stored. Phase 1 should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Phase 2 will start the following day, when the app will signal at six random time points throughout the day for one week. Each of these mini surveys will take less than a couple of minutes to complete.
*Please note: Surveys need to be completed within 30 minutes of receiving a notification from the app. In order for your answers to be included in the study, at least half of the surveys need to be completed. This equates to approximately 3 surveys completed each day.

How do I get started?
To get started, please click on the ‘Next’ button at the bottom of the page.

What will happen to the information I provide?
Upon submission, your responses will remain anonymous and will be entered automatically into a database. This database is password protected and managed within the guidelines applicable to the secure storage of all electronic data within The Cairnmillar Institute. Only the principal and student researchers will have access to the data. In accordance with Human Research Ethics Committee guidelines, data will be securely retained for a mandatory period of five years after publication.

This project is undertaken as part of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) course at The Cairnmillar Institute. The data collected will be presented as a part of student theses and could potentially be published in a scholarly journal or presented as a conference paper. However, only group data will be presented. You may contact the Principal Researcher (jacquie.mills@cairnmillar.edu.au) to request a results summary to be emailed to you upon completion of the study. All data will be destroyed after publication of the theses or after other papers which arise as a result of the research conducted are published.

 

This study has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee at The Cairnmillar Institute and will comply with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, 2007).

If you would like further information regarding this study, if you have any concerns regarding this project, or you wish to withdraw your participation, please contact the Principle Research Supervisor or myself at any time. If you have any complaints about any aspect of the project, the way it is being conducted or any questions about your rights as a research participant, then you may also contact the Secretary to the Human Research Ethics Committee. All contact details can be found below.

Samantha Lavale
Masters of Psychology (Clinical) candidate
The Cairnmillar Institute
391 - 393 Tooronga Road
Hawthorn East, 3123
Phone: 03 9813 3400
Email: body.image.study.s@gmail.com

Samantha Decker
Masters of Psychology (Clinical) candidate
The Cairnmillar Institute
391 - 393 Tooronga Road
Hawthorn East, 3123
Phone: 03 9813 3400
Email: body.image.study.s@gmail.com

Dr Jacquie Mills
Principal Researcher/Lecturer
The Cairnmillar Institute
391 - 393 Tooronga Road
Hawthorn East, 3123
Ph: (03) 9813 3400
Email: jacquie.mills@cairnmillar.edu.au

Secretary to the HREC
The Cairnmillar Institute
391 - 393 Tooronga Road
Hawthorn East, 3123
Ph: (03) 9813 3400

Email: hrec@cairnmillar.edu.au

By clicking the “Next” button and proceeding to the next page, I CERTIFY THAT:
  • I have read and understood the information provided in the Plain Language Information Statement and understand this project will be conducted for research purposes only.
  • I understand participation is voluntary and that I can withdraw from Phase 1 at any time, prior to submitting the completed survey.
  • I understand that I can also withdraw from Phase 2 at any time by contacting the Principal Researcher and quoting my unique user ID generated from the InstantSurvey app.
  • I am voluntarily giving my consent to participate in this study.
  • I have been notified that all information provided by me will remain confidential.
  • I understand that my consent is implied by the submission of the completed survey.