Statistics and Studies – a YPAG Meeting Summary

Hi everyone! I’m Ed, a member of the Young People’s Advisory Group writing committee, blogging about all the exciting stuff the YPAG get up to…

Our most recent meeting was divided into two parts. Firstly, we embarked on a training session in research. We delved into issues surrounding young people participating in studies – for example, the child consenting to the study, and how a young person cannot be forced into any form of research project. We also looked at the issues surrounding confidentiality, for example, if a young participant admits to being in danger.

We also looked at the swathes of statistics surrounding studies, such as the differences between quantitative and qualitative data, and the importance of different types of interviews, as well as the use of control groups and peer review journals during studies.

Furthermore, we looked at the difficult process of designing a research project, from deciding on a question, to getting the project passed through Ethics, all the way through to the eventual peer review. This eventually lead on to us discussing correlation and causation – notably whether chocolate consumption caused a country to provide more Nobel prize winners (sadly, it doesn’t – we think).

Eventually we moved onto the second part of our session, when we looked at an upcoming study by Arianna Manzini, about young people’s views on psychosis and upcoming technologies. We evaluated the information sheet and consent forms to make sure they were appropriate for the study. Finally, we studied the first draft of a poster to promote mental health awareness in young people, as part of a project by Professor Mina Fazel, the aim of which is to help young people manage low moods – something everyone agreed was very important.

Overall, it was a fascinating day that was enjoyed by everyone. Even if chocolate consumption doesn’t make you smarter.