‘Pro-social behaviour, personality & mental health’

Research study: Pro-social behaviour, personality & mental health

You are being invited to take part in a research study exploring how pro-social behaviours such as volunteering impact of their mental health and coping strategies, e.g. suicidal thinking and self-harm. Please take time to read the following information carefully and decide whether you would like to participate.

Who is undertaking this research study?

This study is being led by Dr Kevin Hochard, in collaboration with Dr Nadja Heym at the Nottingham Trent University and Dr Robert Dempsey at Staffordshire University.

What do I have to do/ what will happen?

You will be asked to complete several psychometric questionnaires about your pro-social behaviours (e.g. how much you volunteer), your inter-personal needs (e.g. how much you feel you belong), related personality traits and potential self-harm engagement and suicidal thinking.

Completing this survey should take you between 30 to 45 minutes depending on your reading speed. There are no trick questions in this study. There are no right or wrong answers. Questionnaires used are for the purpose of this research only. The questionnaire is not designed to provide you with diagnostic information. While we can provide a summary of the whole project once data completion is complete, we are unable to provide you with individual feedback the end of the study.

Do I have to take part?

You have self-selected to take part by accessing this study. However, participation is strictly voluntary. You do not have to take part and you need not give a reason for this decision. 

Should you wish to withdraw from the research before you have completed the study, you can withdraw by closing your browser window. Please be aware that once you have completed the study, your data will be anonymised to maintain confidentiality. Thus, it will not be possible for us to withdraw your responses as they will be pooled with all other responses, making them unidentifiable. Should you wish to omit certain questions, you may do so.

Is there any potential harm from taking part in the study?

There are no directly harmful effects from taking part, but some of the questions may make you think about your experiences which may remind you of upsetting feelings. If you feel too triggered to continue and are struggling, remember you are free to withdraw and have no obligation to continue. We also recommend you consider making an appointment to see your GP to discuss these issues. Alternatively you can seek information, support and guidance from the following sources:

Papyrus: Telephone, text and email support staffed by trained professionals

Call: 0800 068 41 41

Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org

SMS: 07786 209697

Mind Info Line: information on all aspects of mental distress.


Samaritans: Confidential helpline


How will I benefit from the study?

Taking part in this study will allow you to voice your experiences pro-social behaviours you might engage in, such as volunteering, and how this can impact of your thinking and coping strategies, e.g. suicidal thinking and self-harm. We hope that results from this study will inform our understanding of how these behaviours relate to one another. You will be awarded Research participation credits for completion of this study. Exact number will depend on your institution. Note to University of Chester, NTU, and Staffs University students: in order to gain your credits you will need to email the researcher affiliated with your university with a code word and your ID that will be provided in the debrief.


All information to be used in this study is strictly confidential and will only be used for the purposes of this research and subsequent publication. To reduce the risk of anyone seeing your responses you can exit the internet browser after you have sent your response.  Your responses will be stored confidentially and securely. Your responses will be pooled with the other responses, and your name or identifying information will not be asked at any point during this study.  As your responses will be unidentifiable it will not be possible to remove your data once you have completed and sent your response.

Data will be stored in accordance with the Data Protection Act and University Research Policies.   Once analysis is complete, data will be kept on password protected computers, and will be confidentially destroyed five years after study completion.

What will happen to the results of the study?

We will analyse the findings of the study in a series of linked analyses. The overall findings will help us to better how people’s pro-social behaviours impact on their mental health and coping skills. We will write up the findings from this research for publication in scientific journals relevant to the research topic. Results may also be presented at scientific meetings and conferences. All participants will remain anonymous and individual responses will not be singled out.  If you would like a summary of the results, please contact Dr Kevin Hochard (see below); please note that individual feedback cannot be shared as all data is anonymous.

Complaints procedure

If you wish to make a complaint about any aspect of this research, or how you have been treated as a participant, please address it to:

Professor R. Bramwell, Head of Department, Department of Psychology, University of Chester, Parkgate Road, Chester, CH1 4BJ.

Where can I get further information?

If you would like any further information about this research, please contact a member of the research team:

Dr Kevin Hochard                                           Email: k.hochard@chester.ac.uk

Dr Nadja Heym                                               Email: nadja.heym@ntu.ac.uk

Dr Robert Dempsey                                       Email: robert.dempsey@staffs.ac.uk


Please keep a copy of this Information Page (print screen) for your future reference.  Thank you for taking part in this research.


A note on privacy
This survey is anonymous.
The record of your survey responses does not contain any identifying information about you, unless a specific survey question explicitly asked for it. If you used an identifying token to access this survey, please rest assured that this token will not be stored together with your responses. It is managed in a separate database and will only be updated to indicate whether you did (or did not) complete this survey. There is no way of matching identification tokens with survey responses.

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