Sam Houston State University

Consent for Participation in Research

Mindfulness and Awakening Registry

Why am I being asked?
You are being asked to participate in a research study of the nature and effects of mindfulness and contemplative practices, conducted by Dr. John M. de Castro, Director of the Laboratory for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies, Professor of Psychology at Sam Houston State University. You have been asked to participate in the research because you have indicated that you are engaged in mindfulness and contemplative practices and may be eligible to participate in present and future studies. You must be at least 18 years of age in order to participate. We ask that you read this form and ask any questions you may have before agreeing to participate in the research.

Your participation in this research is voluntary. Your decision whether or not to participate will not affect your current or future relations with Sam Houston State University. If you decide to participate, you are free to withdraw at any time without consequences of any kind.

Why is this research being done?
Over the last decade, research has demonstrated that engaging in mindfulness and contemplative practices produce marked changes in the practitioner. These changes include alterations of the physiology, including the brain, and alteration in the individual’s psychological and emotional state. These changes have been shown to be beneficial for the individual’s physical and mental wellbeing. But the research is in its infancy, and there is a tremendous amount of work that has yet to be performed. In addition, little is known about the processes of mindfulness and contemplative practices and which works best for which people under what circumstances.

The Mindfulness and Awakening Registry is designed to facilitate the needed research by recruiting mindfulness and contemplation practitioners who are willing to consider helping with current and future research studies. Such studies may be important to better understand the process and the impact of these practices. The results of these studies could be very useful for future applications of mindfulness and contemplative practices to human flourishing.

What is the purpose of this research?
The purpose of the study will be to begin to document the relationship between engagement in contemplative practices, such as meditation, yoga, centering prayer, and mindful movement, and the development of mindfulness, gratefulness, satisfaction with life, and awakening experiences.

What procedures are involved?
If you agree participate in the registry, you will be asked to do the following things:

You would be asked to register by providing contact information, your demographic characteristics, and information on the nature and history of your contemplative practices.

You would be asked to complete several scales to measure the characteristics and effects of your mindfulness and contemplative practice.

You would be contacted periodically and requested to update your information in the registry.

What are the potential risks and discomforts?
There are no known risks to me in participating in the registry. It is possible that you might experience boredom or mental/emotional discomfort/distress from answering questions regarding your mindfulness and contemplative activities and their effects upon your behavior, physical wellbeing, and psychological state. In the unlikely event that you experience discomfort please contact Dr. John M. de Castro, Director of the Laboratory for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies for suggestions of appropriate resources to assist in alleviating the discomfort.

Are there benefits to taking part in the research?
You will not receive any tangible benefits for successful completion of all questionnaires and scales. You will, however, receive two hours of research credit for successful completion of the study that may, in part, fulfill a Psychology course requirement. In addition, the information obtained in the research may benefit individuals involved in mindfulness and contemplative practices in the future.

What about privacy and confidentiality?
The only person who will know that you participated in the study is the Director of the Laboratory for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies. No information about you, or provided by you during the study will be disclosed to others without your written permission, except: - if necessary to protect your rights or welfare (for example, if you are injured and need emergency care or when the SHSU Protection of Human Subjects monitors the research or consent process); or - if required by law.

When the results of the research are published or discussed in conferences, no information will be included that would reveal your identity. Any information that is obtained in connection with this study and that can be identified with you will remain confidential and will be disclosed only with your permission or as required by law.

All research materials will be coded with a study number and not your name or anything else that would identify you personally. The de-identified information will be collected and stored in a password-protected computer data base accessible only to the registry team. The data will be stored for five years and then destroyed, following analysis of the data.

What if I am injured as a result of my participation?
In the event of injury related to this research study, you should contact your physician. However, you or your third party payer, if any, will be responsible for payment of this treatment. There is no compensation and/or payment for medical treatment from Sam Houston State University for any injury you have from participating in this research, except as may by required of the University by law. If you feel you have been injured, you may contact the researcher, Dr. John M. de Castro, at 936-294-3260.

What are the costs for participating in this research?
Aside from the 2-hour timeframe for completing the scales, there are no costs associated with participating in this study.

Will I be reimbursed for any of my expenses or paid for my participation in this research?
You will not be paid for participation in the study and will not be reimbursed for any expenses. However, participation will in part fulfill a Psychology course requirement. Upon completion of the study requirements, participants will receive 2 hours of research credit.

Can I withdraw or be removed from the study?
You can choose whether to be in this study or not. If you volunteer to be in the study, you may withdraw at any time without consequences of any kind. You may also refuse to answer any questions you don’t want to answer and still remain in the study. The investigator may withdraw you from the study if circumstances arise which warrant doing so.

Who should I contact if I have questions?
The researcher conducting this study is Dr. John M. de Castro, Director of the Laboratory for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies. If you have questions, you may contact the researchers at: Phone: 936-294-3260.

What are my rights as a research subject?
If you feel you have not been treated according to the descriptions in this form, or you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, you may call the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs – Sharla Miles at 936-294-4875 or e-mail ORSP at

You may choose not to participate or to stop your participation in this registry at any time. Your decision whether or not to participate will not affect your current or future relations with the University.

(If you are a student, this will not affect your class standing or grades at SHSU. The investigator may also end your participation in the research. If this happens, your class standing or grades will not be affected.)

(If you are a staff person at SHSU, your participation in this research is in no way a part of your university duties, and your refusal to participate will not in any way affect your employment with the university, or the benefits, privileges, or opportunities associated with your employment at SHSU.)

You will not be offered or receive any special consideration if you participate in this research.

Consent of Participation/Subject

Proceeding to participate in this online study indicates that you agree with the following statements:

- I have now been informed about this study, including the requirement that I am 18 years of age, procedures, possible risks, and benefits.

- I understand the information provided above, understand what I will be asked to do, have had ample opportunity to ask questions before agreeing to participate, and voluntarily agree to participate in this study.