Abigail Thornton is a Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire, and is the lead researcher on this project.
What is the aim of the project?
This study investigates how people manage conflict and view the use of aggression between intimate or dating partners. To be eligible to take part in this study, you must be at least 18 years old and have been in a dating/intimate relationship that has lasted for at least one month at some point in your adolescent/adult life.
What is involved if I agree to participate?
If you agree to take part, you will complete the questionnaire online. You will be asked to answer questions about how you solve conflict and whether you have experienced aggression or control in your past and current relationships. In addition, you will be asked to read short scenarios which describe partners aggressing against each other and to comment on which behaviours you think are acceptable.
It will take you approximately 45 minutes to complete. It is important that any information received is accurate. I therefore ask you to complete the questionnaire in a private, quiet space, consider each question carefully and answer each question honestly.
There are six sections to the questionnaire. The first asks for general demographic information. The second asks you to consider ways in which you may have solved conflict in your relationships. For example, questions will ask if you have ever done any of the following to a partner or if a partner has done this to you: showed them care; showed respect; punched or kicked; used a knife or gun; used force to have sex. The third and fourth section asks you about how you may have acted towards your partner in certain situations. The fifth asks you to consider and comment on a series of hypothetical scenarios where aggression arises within a couple. Aggressive acts are briefly described here, for example, it may say ‘Carol punched him repeatedly in the face’. The sixth and final section asks you to think about how you might behave in hypothetical situations with your partner in the future.
You must complete all six sections in one sitting, as you cannot resume from where you left off at another point in time. You can stop participating in this study at any time, without giving a reason, up until you submit your completed questionnaire. As the researchers will not be able to identify which responses are yours, we will be unable to withdraw your questionnaire once you have submitted it, as there will be no way to identify your individual questionnaire.
Privacy and Confidentiality
Your participation in this project is anonymous to the researchers. Your names or other identifying information will not be stored alongside your responses. The responses you provide will be collected and combined with several hundred other participants’ responses. We will then analyse the data, and look at overall patterns of responses. The results will be written up in the form of scholarly articles or presentations where we will talk about the general pattern of results. At no point will your individual responses be published. The lead researcher may also use your data in other related projects, and share it with competent professionals. When any of these things occur — data is shared, results are described, articles are written, or scientific presentations are given — it will be impossible for anyone to identify you. Your data will be kept securely in electronic form for at least 5 years by the lead researcher after this research is published.
You may want to delete your browser’s history after you have submitted the questionnaire using ‘internet options’. If you are not sure where internet options is search 'history’ on your computer.
If you have any questions or problems, whom can you contact?
If you have any questions about this study, either now or in the future, please feel welcome to contact me using the details stated at the top of this information document.
If you have any concerns about the way in which the study has been conducted, you should contact the University of Central Lancashire University Officer for Ethics (Email: OfficerforEthics@uclan.ac.uk).
If you wish to discuss issues around aggression in relationships with someone, there are many avenues of free support, such as:
o The Samaritans (116 123);
o National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline (0808 2000 247)
o Men's Advice Line (0808 8010327)
o UCLan Student Counselling Services (Appointments and general enquiries: 01772 892572).
Thank you for considering participating in this research.