The Secondary Students and Adolescent Sexual Health survey is a national study exploring the sexual health and wellbeing of Australian adolescents. It is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

Project Team

A/Prof Christopher M. Fisher & Dr Sylvia Kauer

Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (ARCSHS)

La Trobe University


What is the study about?

This study is an online anonymous survey asking about your knowledge, perceptions and experiences related to sexual health and wellbeing. Your answers will be used in government health and education departments to help improve sexual health services and curriculum around Australia. Completing the survey will give you an opportunity to provide important information that helps researchers, educators, sexual health doctors and others who seek to improve the sexual health and wellbeing of adolescents in Australia.

Do I have to participate?

Being part of this study is voluntary. If you want to be part of the study, we ask that you read the information below carefully to decide if you would like to participate.

If you are currently experiencing treatment for anxiety and/or depression or other major mental health disorders, especially if you are having a tough time at the moment, please feel free to skip this survey.

If you decide not to participate, this won’t affect your relationship with La Trobe University or any other listed organisation.

If you are between the ages of 14 and 18 years of age, you may wish to discuss your participation with your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) before starting the survey. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page for parents (teenhealth.org.au/ParentsTeachers.php).

You can download a copy of this participant information statement for your own records and to discuss your participation with a parent/guardian by clicking here: SSASH 2018 Participant Information Statement.pdf

Who is being asked to participate?

To participate you must be:

  • Living in Australia at the time of the survey and
  • 14 to 18 years of age

What will I be asked to do?

You will be asked to complete an anonymous survey. Generally, it takes about 20 minutes, although it may be longer or shorter depending on your experiences. We won't ask you to give us any information that could be used to identify you during the survey.

The questions in the survey are about:

  • What you know about sexual health such as HIV and STIs
  • Your attitudes, opinions and experiences relating to sex, condoms, and sexual health
  • Places or websites you have used to get information about sex and sexual health
  • Your experiences with sexual education you have had at school

Most of the time, you will be asked to select from a list of answers. There are a few questions where you are asked to type in your answer. There may be some questions that you don’t know the answer to, or that you don’t want to answer. That’s fine, there is always an option to select such as ‘Prefer not to answer’ or ‘Not sure’.

If you need to leave before you finish or you lose your connection, you can pick up where you left off as long as you come back to the survey on the same device and browser within 12 hours.

What are the benefits?

There aren’t really any benefits to you, but the information you give us will help young people in the future by providing schools and health professionals with relevant information about young people and sexual health. The results will be used to inform national strategies to prevent transmissible diseases, such as STIs, and provide information to improve sexual health education and services across the nation.

To say thank you for completing the survey, you can choose to enter our draw to win one of 40 $50 gift vouchers. For this, we will need your email address, which will be taken on a separate survey, not tied to answers you have given in the main survey, and kept confidential.

What are the risks?

We don't expect any risks associated with this study. If you do experience something that you aren't sure about, you can contact us (teenhealth@latrobe.edu.au) to discuss the best way to manage your concerns.

If you experience any distress while taking the survey, please contact Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or at kidshelpline.com.au or Lifeline on 13 11 14 or at lifeline.org.au to talk about it.

What will happen to information about me?

By clicking on the 'I agree, start questionnaire' button, this tells us you want to take part in the study.

We will collect information about you in ways that will not reveal who you are.

We will store information about you in ways that will not reveal who you are.

We will publish information about you in ways that will not identify who you are in any type of publication from this study.

We will keep your information for a minimum of 5 years after the project is completed.

The storage, transfer and destruction of your data will be undertaken in accordance with the Research Data Management Policy.

The survey will not collect any personally identifying information. We will not be able to connect your specific answers with you personally.

Will I hear about the results of the study?

The availability of any publications that result from this research will be advertised on the ARCSHS website in the future at www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs. You may also email us at teenhealth@latrobe.edu.au to request any available reports.

What if I change my mind?

If you no longer want to complete the questionnaire, simply close the web browser. If you change your mind after clicking on the ‘Submit’ button, we cannot withdraw your responses because we cannot link who you are with your questionnaire responses.

Your decision to withdraw at any point will not affect your relationship with La Trobe University or any other organisation listed.

Who can I contact for questions or want more information?

If you would like to speak to us, please contact Christopher Fisher at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS), La Trobe University at teenhealth@latrobe.edu.au or on (03) 9479 8717.

What if I have a complaint?

If you have a complaint about any part of this study, please quote the Ethics Reference Number HEC20401 and contact:

Senior Human Ethics Officer

Ethics and Integrity, Research Office, La Trobe University, Victoria, 3086

Phone: (03) 9479 1443

Email: humanethics@latrobe.edu.au

Consent Form – Declaration by Participant

I (the participant) have read understood the Participant Information Statement, and any questions have been answered to my satisfaction. I agree to participate in the study, I know I can withdraw at any time the collection of my data. I agree information provided by me or with my permission during the project may be included in a thesis, presentation and published in journals on the condition that I cannot be identified.

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