Does the risk outweigh the benefits? Adolescent responses to completing health surveys
Journal of Research on Adolescence
School of Medical and Health Sciences
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.