Project iSay


Frequently Asked Questions

Perhaps you have some questions about the way iSay works. Check out these commonly asked questions and their answers by clicking below.
If you still need help, or your question isn't found on this page, we welcome you to call, text, or email us!
For commonly asked Parent Questions, Click Here!

For Students

Q: Who can take part in iSay?

Q: I don't drink. Can I still participate?

Q: Can a friend of mine join the study?

Q: I'm not enrolled in this middle school anymore. Can I still participate?

Q: Some of these questions are personal, and I don't want anyone to find out what I said. Will anyone be able to see my answers?

Q: Are you sure my answers will be kept private?

Q: How do you keep people on the internet from seeing my answers?

Q: What if I don't want to take the survey online?

Q: What if I lost the handout I was given? How can I get another copy?

Q: Does having a sip of wine at a religious ceremony count as having a drink of alcohol?

Q: Where can I find a computer to do my survey?

Q: Where can I go for help for teen or family issues?

Q: Why are my parents filling out a survey?

Q: Is my parent's survey the same as mine?

Q: What if I want to talk to someone about the study?

For Parents

Q: Who are you?

Q: Why was my child selected to be in your study?

Q: How do I know that my child is receiving email from you and not others?

Q: I don't want my child on social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, Myspace, etc.). Is that okay?

Q: You say that you will contact participants via cell phone, but my child does not have a cell phone and/or you will contact participants via email but my child does not have an email address. How does that work?

Q: You say that you will contact participants via text message, but we do not have a text messaging plan. How does that work?

Q: What if my child tells you that he or she is drinking a lot? Can I find out?







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Answers

Q:Who can take part in iSay?
A:
Students at Ponaganset Middle School, Tiverton Middle School, Kickemuit Middle School, Woonsocket Middle School, Martin Middle School, and Barrington Middle School have been invited to participate.

Q: I don't drink. Can I still participate?
A: You can participate in this research even if you don’t drink often or never drink alcohol. The best way for us to learn about kids’ experiences is to include all different types of students. Whatever your experiences, you can help a great deal by sharing your thoughts and opinions.


Q: Can a friend of mine join the study?
A: If your friend received an invitation letter from us, he or she can join the study. Unfortunately, we can’t include all students in the study, but if you know someone who is interested in participating in other research at Brown, please encourage them to call (401) 863-6600.


Q: I'm not enrolled in this middle school anymore. Can I still participate?
A
: You may still participate in iSay if you are enrolled in another school. In fact, if you’re in eighth grade now, we’ll be keeping in touch with you during your first year of high school. If you’ve moved since beginning iSay, please send us your new address to make sure we can keep in touch with you and know where to send your monthly payment!


Q: Some of these questions are personal, and I don't want anyone to find out what I said. Will anyone be able to see my answers?
A:
Absolutely not. Your answers to the surveys are confidential. That means that only the researchers at Brown will see your answers, and your answers will not be stored with identifying information (name, birthday, etc.) about you. Your teachers or other people at your school won’t see your answers either. The only way someone will see your answers is if you let them read over your shoulder!


Q: Are you sure my answers will be kept private?
A:
If you choose, you can even keep your participation in iSay a secret. Only the researchers at Brown will know whether or not you are filling out the surveys. Your survey responses will be stored separately from your personal information and will be kept completely confidential. We even have a Confidentiality Certificate (CC) from the US government that adds special protection for information you give us. It says we do not have to identify you, even under a court order or subpoena. This means that your school can’t ask us to give the names of kids who drink or do other illegal activities, and your parents will not be told how you have answered different questions.


Q: How do you keep people on the internet from seeing my answers?
A:
When your answers to the surveys are transmitted over the internet they are “encrypted” which means they can’t be read by anyone but us. It’s the same protection that internet businesses use for credit card purchases. Once they get to us, your answers are stored at Brown University. The server (a special kind of computer) is protected by the same kind of encryption.


Q: What if I don't want to take the survey online?
A:
You can take the survey on paper instead. Email us at isay@brown.edu or call us at (401) 863-6642 to request a hard copy of the survey.


Q: What if I lost the handout I was given? How can I get another copy?
A:
Click here to download whatever forms you need.


Q: Does having a sip of wine at a religious ceremony count as having a drink of alcohol?
A:
No, it does not.


Q: Where can I find a computer to do my survey?
A:
Click here for a list of local libraries.


Q: Where can I go for help for teen or family issues?
A:
Click here for a list of resources.


Q: Why are my parents filling out a survey?
A:
Your parents will fill out two surveys, one in the next month, and another in a year. They ask questions that you might not know the answers to, and also questions about what your parents think they know about you.


Q: Is my parent's survey the same as mine?
A:
Some of the questions on the surveys are similar, because we’re interested in how parents’ and kids’ opinions and ideas might be alike or different. Other questions are different from the ones that you’ll answer.


Q: What if I want to talk to someone about the study?
A:
You can call us at 401-863-6642 between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM Eastern time. You can also email us at isay@brown.edu.


Q: Who are you?
A:
We are researchers at Brown University. We work with teens on different projects. Our goal is to learn more about why some kids experiment with alcohol but others do not during the teenage years. The findings of our study will be informative for the design of programs that can reduce alcohol-related problems in some kids. You can learn more about us on this website or http://www.caas.brown.edu.


Q: Why was my child selected to be in your study?
A:
Our project has two parts. In the first part, every student at the participating middle schools has the opportunity to be part of the study. In the second part (the three-year study), we are selecting 200 kids from each middle school. The study includes both children who drink and children who do not drink. If your child is selected to be in the three-year study, it does not mean that he/she drinks alcohol or has a problem with alcohol.


Q: How do I know that my child is receiving email from you and not others?
A:
We will only email your child from the iSay account, or from a Brown University account. The sender in the email will be iSay or one of our project staff. Text messages would also show iSay or Brown University as the sender.


Q: I don't want my child on social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, Myspace, etc.). Is that okay?
A:
Your child will not join a social networking site as part of being in this study. We do not ask participants to join these sites. However, children who already have Facebook accounts can join the Facebook “group” iSay. This group is private; only iSay participants will be permitted to join.


Q: You say that you will contact participants via cell phone, but my child does not have a cell phone and/or an email address. How does that work?
A:
We will contact your child in many different ways. Our major way of communication is by mail, but we also use email, text messages, and telephone calls (to your house or a cell phone). We will only used methods that you or your child prefer. In addition, a member of the iSay research team will be present in the school cafeteria once a month to serve as a visual reminder that it is time to do the monthly survey. Your child does not have to acknowledge our research staff (although he/she may choose to approach us, and we welcome any participants who would like to come chat with us).


Q: You say that you will contact participants via text message, but we do not have a text messaging plan. How does that work?
A:
We will send your child text messages only with your permission. We realize that families have different rules and different phone plans with regard to costs of texting.


Q: What if my child tells you that he or she is drinking a lot? Can I find out?
A:
Your child’s responses are confidential. But if your child ever reports alcohol use that reaches a potentially dangerous dose, we will report this information to you.