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Take part

Thank you for your interest in taking part in our research. By taking part in our research you are confirming that:

1. You are aged 16 years or above, and

2. You are a current academy, professional or semi-professional football player, or

3. You are a recently retired (within two years) academy, professional  or semi-professional football player

If you do not meet the above criteria, please contact us to find out how you can help in other ways. 


Participant Information Sheet

You are being invited to participate in a research study (Exploring subjective well-being in elite football players).

Before you decide whether to participate, it is important for you to understand why the research is being conducted and what it will involve.

Please take time to read the following information carefully and feel free to ask us if you would like more information or if there is anything that you do not understand.

Please also feel free to discuss this with your friends and relatives if you wish. We would like to stress that you do not have to accept this invitation and should only agree to take part if you want to.

+ Why are we conducting this research?

We are interested in identifying factors that might predict mental health and well-being in current and former football players.

We hope that findings from this research will help inform the development of psychological support for current and former players in the future.

+ Who is being asked to take part?

We are asking current and recently retired academy, professional and semi-professional football players to take part in this study.

+ Do I have to take part?

You do not have to take part in this study. If you decide to participate, you are free to withdraw from the study at any time without explanation.

However, because the information that you provide is anonymous it will not be possible for us to delete your data.

+ What will happen if I take part?

If you decide to take part in the study then you will be directed to our website. Here, you will be asked to complete a series of questionnaires.

The questionnaires will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete, and you will be asked questions about your football career, happiness, life satisfaction and mental health.

You will also be asked whether you would like to be contacted to take part in similar studies in the future.

+ What are the risks and benefits of taking part?

Whilst there are no anticipated risks to you if you take part in this study, some questions may encourage you to reflect on your mental health and well-being.

You will be given details of a number support organisations on completion of the questionnaires.

There are no direct benefits in taking part in the study. However, we hope that your participation in this study will help us to understand more about mental health in elite football players.

We anticipate that findings from this study will help us to develop better support for players in the future.

+ Will my information remain confidential?

Yes, your information will remain strictly confidential.

If you decide to take part then you will be assigned a unique study identification number.

You will not be asked to provide any identifiable information, and the research team will not know your identity.

Please note that your club will not know whether you decide to participate in this study.

+ What happens to the information that I provide?

All information collected as part of this study will be stored securely at the University of Liverpool.

In line with ethical and governance requirements, this will be kept for a minimum of ten years following the end of the project, after which it will be destroyed.

The research data that we produce will be made openly available to the wider academic community in accordance with the University of Liverpool Research Data Management Policy.

+ Future research opportunities

If you are interested in being contacted for similar studies in the future then we will ask you to provide us with your email address so that we can keep you informed of future research opportunities. This email address will be stored securely and separately from your questionnaire responses.

Please note that you are free to decline if you do not want to take part in these other research opportunities – just as you are free to withdraw from this study at any time.

+ What will happen to the results of the study?

Results from the study will be submitted for publication in scientific journals. As stated previously, the data presented in these papers will not be identifiable. We will also make the findings available through the study website.

Please note that you will not be identifiable in any publications associated with this study.

+ Who can I contact if I have any further questions?

If you have any questions regarding the study or would like further information, please contact the lead researcher, Andrew Bethell (Trainee Clinical Psychologist, University of Liverpool; abethell@liverpool.ac.uk) or the academic supervisor, Dr Ross White (Clinical Psychologist, University of Liverpool; rgwhite@liverpool.ac.uk).

+ What if I am unhappy or if there is a problem?

If you are unhappy about any aspects of the research, or if there is a problem, then please let us know by contacting Dr Ross White rgwhite@liverpool.ac.uk).

If you remain unhappy or have a complaint which you feel you cannot come to use with then you should contact the University of Liverpool Research Governance Officer at ethics@liverpool.ac.uk).

When contacting the Research Governance Officer, please provide details of the name or description of the study (so that it can be identified), the researcher involved, and the details of the complaint that you wish to make.