Does the Risk Outweigh the Benefits? Adolescent Responses to Completing Health Surveys

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The aim of this study is to describe the self-reported experiences of adolescents in population-based samples when completing health-related surveys on topics with varying potential for evoking distress. Survey data were collected in three school-based studies of bullying behaviors (N = 1,771, 12–14 years), alcohol use (N = 823, 12, 15, and 17 years), and electronic image sharing (N = 274, 13 years). Between 5% and 15% of respondents reported being upset at survey completion, but at most 1.4% were entirely negative in their evaluation. Age was not associated with being upset, but younger adolescents were more likely to see benefit in participation. Although concurrent mental health symptoms increased the risk of being upset, this was mostly mitigated by perceived benefits from participation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-426
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


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