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VCU STRESS REDUCTION STUDY

Inviting VCU undergraduate students of all majors!

Sign up before February 1, 2023

ABOUT

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Stressed Woman

THE STUDY

Stress Reduction Study is a research project led by Drs. Polina Beloborodova and Kirk Warren Brown at Virginia Commonwealth University. The study is funded by the Mind & Life Institute Francisco J. Varela Grant and approved by VCU Institutional Review Board and Information Security Office.

OUR GOAL

Studying can be a difficult time, and some students can find it challenging to deal with stress during college. Our research project aims to understand how two different online stress reduction programs affect students’ daily experiences, and you are invited to take part in the study.

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Image by Evan Dennis

WHAT TO EXPECT

After signing up, you will be randomly assigned to one of the training programs. For two weeks, you will receive daily online lessons that will teach you how to manage stress. To investigate how those programs affect students’ mood, we will monitor their daily activities and experiences combining brief daily surveys with activity tracking via smartphones.

WHY PARTICIPATE?

  1. Learn stress management skills that will help you maintain emotional well-being throughout college and beyond.

  2. Help us to understand what factors affect students’ emotional well-being and develop programs to prevent mental health problems, such as depression.

  3. Compensation is available

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YOUR COMMITMENT

In this study, in addition to participating in one of the training programs, you will be asked to do the following things:

  • Fill pre-training, post-training, and end-of-semester online questionnaires

  • Fill brief surveys (2-3 min) three times per day (morning, afternoon, evening) on you smartphone for five weeks

  • Install an app called AWARE on your smartphone and allow it to collect and transfer to a secure VCU server such data as calls and texts frequency (but not content), GPS location, battery, screen on/off, motion, and audio environment (without recording)

  • Tell us about your experience of participating in the training program in a recorded phone interview.

DATA SHARING AND SECURITY

We are aware that mental health and smartphone data are sensitive research data and we will take the necessary technical and organizational measures to ensure that they cannot be traced back to you. In the beginning, every participant gets a random ID code (pseudonym) which will be attached to the research data to minimize recognizability and traceability. From then on, we will only use the pseudonymized data (i.e. without your name, email and other identifiers) for research. Your de-identified questionnaires and daily surveys data, as well as aggregated smartphone data will be stored indefinitely by the study team and shared publicly in the Open Science Framework repository (https://osf.io) so that other researchers and society can maximally benefit from your efforts as a research participant.

SIGN UP

Would you like to participate?

We are glad you are interested! To determine if you are eligible, please fill out the pre-screening survey. The survey is anonymous, and we will not retain your answers. Sign up deadline is February 1, 2023.

INVESTIGATORS

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KIRK WARREN BROWN

Research Adviser

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POLINA BELOBORODOVA

Graduate Student

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NABILA FARHIN JAHAN

Graduate Student

CONTACT US

806 West Franklin Street

‪(804) 215-6196

STUDY TEAM
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