Research Design

Researchers will (1) conduct observations of youth-centered community life in schools and other community locations. We will be present in the community for an extended period, specifically the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023 school years. The researchers will obtain parental consent prior to interviews with youth under the age of 18. Research will not conflict with schooling. We will also (2) conduct interviews and focus groups with community members to understand their perspectives on the study topic. We will interview youth, school staff, parents, and broader community members. While schools are at the center of adolescents’ lives, and thus our research, we are committed to taking a broad community based approach to our research. We would welcome invitations to your religious or community organization or to local events.


While we cannot guarantee complete confidentiality, we take your right to confidentiality very seriously.

To that end, we will not use the names or other identifying characteristics of participants in any written publications or presentations. Instead, we will use pseudonyms. We will also use pseudonyms for high schools. Additionally, this study involves two communities in Colorado, which may make it harder to identify your child from their comments. However, the identities of both communities are already publicly known. This will help the community use the research to advocate for changes, but also means that any comments you share may be identifiable to members of your community who know you. We will never identify you or your child by name or confirm that a particular quote came from you or your child. We encourage you to consider all of this when sharing information with researchers.

There are some circumstances in which we may have to show your or your child’s information to other people. For example, the law requires us report anyone who poses a danger to their self or to someone else. Additionally, while we will not ask about child abuse or neglect, if your child tells us about child abuse or neglect we will report that information to the appropriate authorities. Also, we may be required to show information which identifies participants to people who need to be sure we have done the research correctly; these would be people from such organizations as Indiana University Institutional Review Board or its designees.


While this study does not anticipate benefits to individual participants, our goal is to benefit the communities we partner with and to contribute to scientific knowledge. To ensure communities benefit from this research, we will provide a written report specific to the community and will provide public presentations of our findings upon completion of the study. We will work with the community to ensure the research contributes to local suicide prevention knowledge and strategies. We will provide free access to any articles or publications that result from the study.


For more information or to volunteer for an interview, see our contact page. As a thank you for participating in an interview, volunteers will receive a $40 e-gift card to


You can download the study forms below:

For more information, see our FAQ.