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Friedman, M. S., Chiu, C. J., Croft, C., Guadamuz, T. E., Stall, R., & Marshal, M. P. (2016). Ethics of Online Assent: Comparing Strategies to Ensure Informed Assent Among Youth. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 11(1), 15–20. https://doi.org/10.1177/1556264615624809


Individuals, including youth, often participate in online research without understanding the characteristics of studies they have agreed to be part of. We assessed the impact of including questions as part of the assent process by randomizing 568 youth to one of three groups: (a) asking youth to only read study information and then indicate their willingness to participate, (b) requiring youth to answer two questions about the study's risks and voluntary nature as part of the assent process, and (c) requiring youth to answer seven questions. Participants in the two- and seven-question groups, compared with the no-question group, were less likely to complete the assent process but, among those who did complete it, were more likely to read and understand study information.