M-TEENS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Schools

What is M-TEENS?

M-TEENS, which stands for the Military Teenagers' Environments, Exercise and Nutrition Study, is a RAND initiative that examines how the food and physical activity environments in military children's schools and neighborhoods influence their diet, physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and body weight. While there is a considerable research examining relationships among civilians, very little is known about these relationships among military children. M-TEENS will help policymakers understand how food and physical activity environments can be modified to promote healthy behaviors and reduce childhood obesity in military families. M-TEENS is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Does the Army support the study?

Yes, the study has the full support of the Army. Senior Army officials have approved and endorsed this study.

What approvals does the study have?

M-TEENS has been approved by RAND's Institutional Review Board (IRB) and by the Army's Human Research Protection Office (HRPO). All surveys have been licensed by the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Survey Approval Authority: U.S. Army Research Institute For The Behavioral And Social Sciences
Survey Control Number: DAPE-ARI-AO-13-20

Why was my district/school selected to participate?

Your district/school was selected to participate because it is one of the districts/schools that serve the military children participating in our study. The study focuses on schools that serve the 13- and 14-year-old children of Army enlisted personnel stationed at the Army installations included in the study.

What does participation involve?

From the school's perspective, the study involves only a brief online survey which will take 20-30 minutes to complete. This survey may be completed at any time during our survey period by accessing the email link sent to the school principal. If you prefer, a paper version can be mailed to the principal with a self-addressed stamped envelope for returning the completed survey.

What kind of information will you be collecting?

We will ask about aspects of the food and physical activity environments at the school and related policies. Remember, participation in this study is completely voluntary and that answers will remain confidential. You can refuse any question at any time and for any reason.

Will anyone visit the schools?

No. No one will need to visit the schools. You can take the brief online survey when convenient or complete the hard copy version of the survey and return it by mail.

How can I be sure that answers will remain confidential?

USC and RAND will use the information provided for research purposes only and will not disclose the identity or information that identifies specific respondents or schools to anybody outside of the project team. While the study has the support of the Army, the research team does not include any Army or Department of Defense staff. In reports, we will only show group responses and will not report information from any individual school alone.

How long will the survey take?

The survey should only take 20-30 minutes to complete.

Are there any benefits to participating in M-TEENS?

There are many reasons to participate in M-TEENS:

  • In recognition of your participation, M-TEENS will provide an incentive of $40. The incentive may be delivered as a donation to the school or as a check to the individual completing the survey, whichever complies with the district's policies and preferences.
  • This study represents an important opportunity to improve our understanding of how the food and physical activity environments influence children's health and well-being, particularly among military children. Our study will help policymakers understand how food and physical activity environments can be modified to promote healthy behaviors and reduce childhood overweight and obesity in military families.

My school doesn't have a computer; can we still participate in the study?

It isn't necessary to have a computer in order to participate in M-TEENS. You can log in using any computer that has Internet access, like one at a district office or public library, using the PIN we assign to the school. If you don't have any access to a computer, you may complete a hard copy version of the survey, which can be provided upon request.

What if you ask questions that we don't want to answer?

You are free to refuse or skip any questions you don't want to answer. You may do so at any time, for any reason, and without any penalty.

What if you ask questions that I don't know the answers to?

If you don't know the answers to specific questions, you may ask colleagues who are knowledgeable about the issues for help. Some questions request information that is not readily available from school records. Informed estimates are acceptable for such questions.

Who is funding the study?

This study is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Who can I contact with questions about the study?

If you have any questions about the study, please visit our contact page.