Information for Parents
What is DASH about?
DASH looks at how social (e.g. family life) and biological (e.g. growth) factors affect the physical and mental health of young people from different ethnic backgrounds.
Our results will help us to understand health differences in later life.
Over 6,500 pupils, aged 11-13 years, in 51 schools across London took part in the original study in 2003. In late 2005/early 2006, we followed-up these pupils to see if there had been any changes in their health and social circumstances.
Why was my child chosen for the DASH study?
51 schools took part so that we included children from a range of backgrounds living in London. Your child was in one of the Year 7 or Year 8 classes that took part in the original study in 2003.
The same pupils participated in the DASH follow-up study in 2005/06. This is because we wanted to see whether their health, health behaviours and social circumstances had changed since the original study in 2003.
By comparing the results from the original study in 2003 with those from the follow-up study in 2005/06, we will be able to assess the impact of change or stability in social conditions on health. This will allow us to identify what sort of things lead to good or poor health.
What did my child have to do?
The pupils who took part completed a questionnaire covering a range of issues such as family and school life, and physical and mental health. These questions were not like a school test - there were no ‘right' or ‘wrong' answers and pupils could choose not to answer any question.
We selected a random sample of pupils to have physical measurements taken, as time-wise it was not possible to measure everyone. These pupils had height, weight, body fat, waist, hip and arm circumferences, and blood pressure measurements taken. They also completed a form about their stage of physical development.
Will my child's information be confidential?
Although a teacher was sometimes present during completion of questionnaires and measurements, our trained survey assistants assisted your child if they needed help to ensure confidentiality.
Only the study team looked at the completed questionnaires and measurement forms. All information from these has now been anonymised; names and any other identifying material were removed before the study team used the information.
What will the study team do with the information my child has given them?
The anonymised information from questionnaires and measurement forms will be carefully examined to identify the main issues influencing health in adolescence. These will be presented in reports to policy makers and will be published in research papers.
Summaries of our findings will be available on this website on completion of the study.
Where can I get further information?
Further information on the study can be obtained from the findings section of this website or by contacting the study team.