Are you a parent who has experienced wildfire with a child?

We’d love to hear your story. Please leave us your contact info and we will be in touch ASAP.

This study has been approved by the University of Saskatchewan Behavioural Research Ethics Board. Read more about this study.

Consent Form - Parenting and Wildfires

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About this study

This study will examine your experiences, as a parent, related to your evacuation and return home after the wildfires in your community. Thank you for being willing to share your story with us.

The threat posed by natural disasters (like wildfires), experience of evacuation/temporary relocation, and return home are all potential sources of stress or major life change. Parents in these situations are responsible not only for their own safety and wellbeing but also that of their children. Parents also play a crucial role in how children adjust to potentially traumatic events such as wildfires.

However, much previous research on parenting and natural disasters is focused on adjustment following the disaster and do not include experiences of evacuation and how these impact parents. Evacuation represents a unique aspect of this experience that involves determining when and how to evacuate, unpredictable changes in routines, chaos, being “on alert” while waiting for evacuation announcements, as well as adjustment during temporary relocation and concerns for housing and belongings.

The purpose of this project is to understand your experiences of evacuation as a parent, including how evacuation is explained to children, how parents teach children to manage the stress of evacuation, availability of resources and supports, and changes in parenting practices as a result of evacuation.

Your interview will be transcribed, either by our in-house research assistants, who have signed a confidentiality agreement, or a third-party transcription service, who uses encryption and also maintains confidentiality. We will then be examining transcripts of interviews for themes and common experiences across participants. In any research product, your identity will be disguised so that your confidentiality is protected.

Sometimes, we might find it helpful to contact participants for a second interview. If you provide permission for us to contact you, you are still able to decline to participate in a second interview when the time comes.

If you have any comments or questions regarding the conduct of this research or your rights as a research participant, you may contact Dr. Jorden Cummings at (306) 966-7147 or trauma.research@usask.ca, the Head of the Psychology Department at the University of Saskatchewan at (306) 966-6657, and/or the University of Saskatchewan Ethics Office at 1-888-966-2975. Furthermore, if you would like additional information about the study and its results, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Jorden Cummings at the phone number above. We anticipate that final results regarding this study will be available in late 2021.

We understand that talking about trauma can be a difficult experience. If you feel upset following your interview, we would like to discuss this with you. If you have a negative emotional response later, you may contact the researcher, Dr. Jorden Cummings, at the number listed above to discuss this reaction. Please note that Dr. Cummings may not receive your voicemail or be able to return your call immediately, and so you should not contact her if you have an emergency or are so distressed you are worried about your imminent safety. If you are so distressed that you are unsafe, please go to your nearest emergency room. You can also find crisis lines nearest you using these links:

RESEARCHER: Jorden A. Cummings, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, (306) 966-7147 or trauma.research@usask.ca

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS: Kendall Deleurme & Michelle McLean, Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, (306) 966-6731 or trauma.research@usask.ca

PURPOSE AND PROCEDURE:  You have been asked to participate in a study designed to investigate your experiences, as a parent, with wildfires in your community. Specifically, we will be asking about your experience, how you described and discussed this experience with your children, coping with shelter-in-place and/or evacuation/relocation/return home, available resources/supports, and any changes in your parenting that might have resulted. We will also ask you to provide your age, gender, and ethnicity so that the researcher can describe these characteristics of the larger sample. This interview will take approximately 60-90 minutes.

In some instances, we like to contact participants to complete a second interview. Once you finish today, we will ask for your permission to contact you again if needed. You are welcome to decline to be contacted. If you do permit us to contact you again, you are also welcome to decline to be interviewed again when the time comes.

All interviews will be conducted by phone, Skype, or Zoom, depending on your location and preference. Your interview will be audio- or video-recorded (depending on method of contact) for later transcription and coding. Transcription of your interview will be completed either by one of our lab research assistants, who has signed a confidentiality agreement, or a third-party transcription service. The transcription service uses encrypted data transfer, has strict confidentiality guidelines, and stores data on their server only temporarily. Note that these servers can be in the US or Canada. If in the US, your data would be subject to the Patriot Act.

Your data will be combined and analyzed with other participants. If any of your interview material (e.g., a quote of something you said) is being considered for use in a research product, it will be de-identified so that your identity is not recognizable.

POTENTIAL BENEFITS:  Although no benefit of participating is guaranteed, research does show that discussing stressful experiences can release distress. Previous participants in similar studies conducted by our lab have reported that telling their story was helpful. It is important to note, however, that you might not gain any direct benefit from your participation. It is hoped that data from this project will ultimately inform support and intervention strategies for families impacted by child trauma. In order to reimburse you for your time, you will also receive a $20 gift card for your participation. You may choose to receive this as a physical gift card in the mail or an electronic gift card.

POTENTIAL RISKS:  No risks are anticipated as a result of participating in this study, although you might feel emotional discussing your experience. Should you feel uncomfortable at any time, you have the right to refuse to answer any questions or withdraw from this study without penalty. You may request the audio- or video-recording be switched off. You can also contact the researcher to discuss your reactions to the study, should you feel distressed later, at the contact information listed above. After your interview today, you will be provided with an opportunity to discuss your reactions with the researcher, as well as a debriefing form outlining steps to take if you are upset later on.

STORAGE OF DATA: Your research records will be stored for a minimum of 5 years on a password protected computer in a secured office. Your data will be stored using a unique ID number. Your name will be removed from any interview transcript and you will be given a pseudonym instead. Your name and individual responses will never be stored in the same data files. Your data will be archived and potentially used in future research.

CONFIDENTIALITY: All responses you provide in this study will be kept confidential, except for a few circumstances described below. Any information derived from this research project that personally identifies you will not be disclosed to anyone by the researchers. If we consider quoting your information in any research products, we will not include any identifying information. During the interview you will be asked to create a pseudonym to be used in place of your name.

LIMITS OF CONFIDENTIALITY: There are some situations where confidentiality can be broken without your permission. Should you indicate that you have imminent intent to harm yourself or someone else we are required to help keep you safe and can intervene to do so. This might require us to waive your confidentiality so appropriate help can be sought. In addition, if we have reason to suspect a child is currently being abused we are obligated to report this information to child protective services and your confidentiality may be waived to do so.

RIGHT TO WITHDRAW: Your participation is voluntary, and you can answer only those questions that you are comfortable with. You may withdraw from the research project for any reason, until the time that the data from this project is pooled (i.e., all participants’ data is combined), without penalty of any sort. After this time, it might not be possible to withdraw your data. If you withdraw from the research project prior to that point, any data that you have contributed will be destroyed.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS:  If you have any questions concerning the research project, you are free to contact the principal researcher, Jorden Cummings, at the contact information provided above. This research project was approved on ethical grounds by the University of Saskatchewan Behavioural Research Ethics Board on [insert date]. Any questions regarding my rights as a participant may be addressed to that committee through the Ethics Office (1-888-966-2975 or ethics.office@usask.ca). Results from this study will be available in 2021 and you can obtain a copy by contacting Dr. Cummings.

By giving verbal permission for the interview to commence, it is understood that you have read and understood the description provided, had an opportunity to ask questions, and your questions have been answered. You consent to participate in the research project, understanding that you may withdraw your consent at any time.