Frequently Asked Questions


What is the PANDA Project?

The PANDA Project is a longitudinal research project directed by Dr. Christine McCauley Ohannessian at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. The primary goal of the PANDA Project is to examine factors that protect young people from developing psychological problems. For more information, visit our about page.

What will participants be asked to do?

In the fall of 2016, 2017, and 2018 consent letters explaining the PANDA Project will be mailed to parents if their child is enrolled in a participating school. Parents will be given the option to decline thier teen’s participation in the study.

We will be collecting data at participating schools and online during the 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 academic year on two occasions per year: once in the fall and once in the spring. On each occassion students will be provided an assent form and asked if they would like to participate in the study. Students that choose to participate in the study will complete a survey that asks questions about their development, coping strategies, and experiences (to view the survey, please click here). Students will be given a $20 Amazon gift card and be entered into a raffle once they turn in the survey.

Why am I (or my adolescent) being asked to participate?

We would like to learn more about the kinds of things that affect adolescent development, such as friendships and coping styles. We hope to use this information to develop prevention programs that help teens feel their best!

Our research team contacted middle schools and invited their students to participate in this study. If you (or your teen) has been asked to complete the PANDA survey, that means your school previously agreed to participate. However, it is still up to parents to decide if they are comfortable having their child participate. In addition, all students will be given a chance to decide if they are interested in participating.

What are the benefits of participating in this study?

There is no direct benefit to you for participating in this research study. However, you may benefit from knowing that the findings from the study may be used for designing programs to help adolescents cope and feel better about themselves.

Will I be compensated for participating in this study?

Teens who decide to participate can receive up to two $20.00 Amazon gift cards. Students will be given a gift card once they turn in the survey each time we come to their school (once in the fall and once in the spring) or complete the survey online (once in the fall and once in the spring).

What if I’m not comfortable answering a question?

Feel free to skip it — the last thing we want to do is make you feel uncomfortable. And if you have feedback you’d like to share on any question, contact our research team (as always, your privacy is protected).

How is my information kept confidential?

All PANDA Project data (including questionnaire responses and personal participant information) are kept strictly confidential. We never release individual information about any participant to anyone for any reason, period.

We give each PANDA Project participant a unique ID number. Your ID is associated with your survey responses, and it’s kept completely separate from your name and other identifying information. Only specially designated members of the research team are able to link names with IDs.

How can I view the findings of this study?

Schools interested in viewing the findings of this study will be sent a report summary after data collection has been complete.

All presentations and publications generated from the findings of the PANDA Project will be posted on this website.

Can I contact the investigators if I have more questions?

Absolutely! Click here to contact our research team and we’ll get back to you!