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Random Assignment Script
For the next few minutes we want to be as clear as we can in explaining our research study and more importantly what it means to you. Here it goes.
Family Expectations is one of many programs across the country trying to learn the kinds of services that help couples, expecting a baby, strengthen their relationship. You should first know that any survey that we ask you to complete is a test of Family Expectations and the services we offer. It is not a test of you and your ability to be a good parent. Your efforts will be helping us learn about us so that we can better help other couples like you in the future. Everyone interested in participating in Family Expectations will be asked to participate in our research. The first step of this process is to understand and agree to be in the study, this is called consent. Your intake specialist will go over and have you sign a consent form after this video, if you want to participate.
The second step is completing surveys. Everyone will complete a survey today and then another one in a year from now. The survey will ask you questions about being a parent, your important relationships, and how you provide for your family, among other things. Remember you are not being judged or graded. This is not a test so no need to worry; you don’t even need a pencil you’ll take the survey on an iPad.
Once you agree to be a part of the Family Expectations study, you will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. A computer randomly picks who will go into each group without looking at any of the answers on your survey, this is called random assignment. It’s kind of like flipping a coin, sometimes you get heads and sometimes you get tails. One side of the Family Expectations study is the program group and the other side is the control group. Couples in the program group will receive services including workshops and other resources. Six out of ten couples will be randomly assigned to this group. The other side of the Family Expectations study is the control group. Couples in the control group will not receive Family Expectations services but will complete surveys. The other four out of ten couples will be randomly assigned to this group.
The reason for using random assignment in a study is to clearly see the differences a program can have on the lives of the people involved. By comparing the two groups, researchers are able to compare how people’s attitudes, behaviors and life experiences change as a result of the program.
Regardless of which group you are in, you will complete one survey today and another one a year from now. As a thank you for your time and honest responses on the surveys you will each receive money on a visa gift card. We are going to keep your personal information and responses to the surveys confidential. Keeping your information confidential means that we store everything on password protected computers that can only be accessed by a limited number of team members.
It’s really important that if you are in the program group that is assigned to attend workshops that both of you make a commitment to attend. If you agree to participate, you are making an agreement to show up and be on time to weekly workshops.
If you are selected for control group your role is just as important. We need to hear from you to know your experiences as a couple and a parent. After today, we will be in touch in about six months to check in and then again in about a year from now to invite you to complete the second survey.
Both groups are needed to make the study work. Doing your part once you sign up is really important. At Family Expectations, we are going to work hard to make this easy for you because we know that future couples in Oklahoma City, and even couples across the country, are counting on all of us to do this well.
So now, even though you better understand how random assignment works, you may still be asking why we have to use this research study that means that four couples out of ten don’t get the Family Expectations services. Like you, we wish that everyone could get these services because we think they can really help couples. But, our funding requires us to do rigorous research. Another way to think about this though is that six couples out of ten in Oklahoma City can get Family Expectations services today that wouldn’t be able to get them if we didn’t do research.
Your intake specialist will now provide you with a copy of the research consent form and will answer any questions you might have about the Family Expectations study.
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