Parent or caregiver information sheet

Researcher Introduction

My name is Robyn Vertongen, I am a Doctoral student and staff member at Massey University, School of Psychology.  I am a Registered Clinical Psychologist who has practiced for the past 20 years. During this time, I have seen increased concerns about sexually explicit internet material (SEIM), often referred to as pornography, that enters into young peoples’ lives. However, what this all means for young people is hotly debated and taken from adult viewpoints rather than asking young people.  As a parent of three young people, I am very aware that this has increasingly become part of life that can’t be avoided but rather needs to be navigated.   

What is the study about?

The project aim is to provide a voice to young people and clarity about how they make sense of SEIM rather than relying only on adult opinions. What young people have to say is important. The study will involve ten young people, between the age of 14 and 16 years, to learn how they have come across SEIM, their experience with this and what it means.

What would my teenager have to do?

Should you agree to your teenager participating in the study they will be asked to talk about their experiences with SEIM and what it means to them.  They will talk directly with Robyn in a suitable private place within a public location in the Auckland area or preferably in rooms at the Massey University Centre for Psychology in Albany, Auckland at a time outside of school hours.  The interview will take about 1 hour and will be audio-recorded to accurately capture the information.  A second interview will take place usually within two weeks.  It will provide your teenager a chance to discuss any insights, concerns, and to clarify responses.  This interview should be briefer than the first interview. Your teenager will receive a $25 Westfield gift voucher at the end of each interview to compensate for their time and travel.

What happens to the information?

It is important to know we will treat your teenager’s information with respect and ensure confidentiality.  Hence, their information will not be shared with you. All information provided will be kept safe at all times. No one else has access to this information and it will be password protected. When the project is finished, a summary report will be provided.  At no time will participants be identifiable. Audio recordings will be destroyed at the end of the project and written non-identifiable information will be kept safe and destroyed at the end of 10 years.

A key concern of adults is that young people may become embarrassed or uncomfortable while talking about sensitive information.  To help with this feedback will be sought to monitor progress and your teenager will choose what they share and how much.

My Rights

If you decide to agree to your teenager taking part, you have the right to

  •  Ask as many questions about the study as needed but not about what your teenager shared;
  • Provide information knowing that your name will not be used;
  • Be given a summary of the things I find out when I’m finished;

What happens if I have other questions?

Please feel free to ask any questions you have about this study before you agree to your teenager taking part.

Making Contact

If you would like more information or have any questions you are welcome to contact the researcher Robyn Vertongen, at (09) 414-0800 ext 43112

And/or the supervisors
Clifford Van Ommen            (09) 414-0800 ext 43114
Kerry Chamberlain            (09) 414-0800 ext 43107

Additional Support

If reading or discussing this information has brought up any concerns for you the following may be useful

0508 638 723
Helps people keep safe online by providing education, advice and support for young people and parent/ caregiver alike.

Ethics Committee Approval Statement

This project has been reviewed and approved by the Massey University Human Ethics Committee: Northern, Application NOR 17/44. 
If you have any concerns about the conduct of this research, please contact Dr Ralph Bathurst, Acting Chair, Massey University Human Ethics Committee: Northern, email