Frequently Asked Questions from Parents and Guardians
We are studying the influence of COVID-19 on the many aspects of children’s lives including their emotions and worries, their strengths, COVID infection and vaccine attitudes, racism, food security, and school.
Your child will be asked to complete seven surveys over five years, three the first year and one every year for four years. Each survey takes about 10 minutes to finish.
We are collecting information from children and teens about their experience of COVID-19. We are doing this for a few reasons. One is to understand how young people have been affected by COVID-19 such as symptoms and recovery, and parental job loss, and their strengths and support. Two is to track changes over time because we do not know the long-term consequences of the coronavirus nor the long-term consequences of living through a pandemic. We are collecting all this information to inform public health programs, hospitals and clinics, mental health agencies, schools and families so they can meet the needs of young people.
We will ask your child to complete three online surveys in the first year and one online survey each year after. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete. The first survey will be completed when you and your child give consent. The second survey is four months later, and the third is four months after the second. After the first year, we will send a survey once a year for the next four years in order to track changes over time.
More information regarding participation in the study can be found at https://covhort.arizona.edu/covhort-cats/join-covhort-cats
Your child will be in the study for five years.
We expect 10,000 children and teenagers. For this first phase of the study, we are offering the survey for ages 12-17 years. In the next phase, we will offer a survey for children 8-11 years.
Sometimes young people are not asked for their opinions, so the survey is an opportunity to provide input, which is a way to acknowledge that their experiences matter. Further, in our lifetime, we have not experienced such a pandemic. We do not know the impact. By doing the surveys we can draw from the data to inform decisions about mental and physical health, education, laws, and programs.
It is possible some questions in the survey might create distress. Children may worry that adults or their parents will find out about their answers. We reassure them that their answers will only be presented within the whole group of data, and not their answers only. Staff conducting the survey can answer questions and remind your child that they can skip questions if they wish. If your child experiences distress, we also have a list of resources to offer support.
We are not aware of other studies of COVID-19 addressing Arizona children and teenagers. If you do not give permission for your child to participate, there is no penalty to you or loss of benefits.
Your child's participation is voluntary.
Once a parent or guardian gives consent, we ask the child to give their permission to participate by e-signing an assent form. We cannot force your child to participate. If they do participate, they always have the choice to stop at any time. No matter what decision you or your child make, there is no penalty to you or your child and you or your child do not lose any of your usual benefits. Your decision does not affect your future or your child's future relationship with The University of Arizona. If you are a student or employee at the University of Arizona, your decision does not affect your grades or employment status.
Your child can stop being in the study at any time. You will be provided a phone number and e-mail address if you would like your child to stop participating or your child would like to stop participating. You can also let us know during follow-up surveys. If your child stops participating, information collected from your child during their participation, up to the point you or your child requested removal from the study, may still be used unless you request that we not use the data.
There are no costs for your child to be in this study, except for their time and yours.
Your child will not be paid for participating.
After the study is complete, we may be able to use the data for future studies. If you are willing to allow your child's data to be used for future research studies, you must specify your consent below. Consent for future use of your child's data is entirely voluntary and may be withdrawn at any time.
The answers your child provides to the surveys may be stored and used for future research and reports or applications for future research. This information will be kept confidential and will be de-identified prior to use. We will not share any of your child's contact information outside the study personnel. This information will be kept secure through HIPAA compliant database software known as REDCap. We will not obtain re-consent in the future prior to use. At the end of this consent, you can choose whether you would like your child's information to be used in future research, reports, or applications for future research.
We will post updates and results to the study on our website.
We will also contact local media for the results to be made public for Arizonans to know of the findings. We also will send a summary update by mail or email to parents and guardians.
No, your information will not be sold for commercial profits or shared with other organizations.
Your child's information will be kept confidential. It will be de-identified such that a person would not be able to tell if your child was in the study. We will not share any of your child's contact information outside the study personnel. Your child's survey responses will be kept secure through HIPAA compliant database software (REDCap). Their contact information will be stored in password-protected computers. There may be situations when your child's information must be released such as the case if it is required by law. Also, your child's study records may be reviewed by the University of Arizona Institutional Review Board, the ethics board that ensures all studies protect participants, and the University of Arizona.