Collecting biomarkers in Australian primary schools: Insights from the field

Mandy Truong, Mienah Sharif, Rebecca Moorhead, Jeffrey M. Craig, Pamela Leong, Yuk Jing Loke, Kevin Dunn, Naomi Priest

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There are increasing efforts to incorporate biology into studies on the social determinants of health. While there is increasing utilisation of biosocial methods in health disparities research, protocols for collecting biomeasures in community contexts involving children are underdeveloped. This paper is based on the Speak Out Against Racism (SOAR) project which collected anthropometric, blood pressure and biosamples (buccal swabs and saliva) from a diverse sample of 124 children (aged 10-12) at 3 primary schools in Australia. This paper describes the methods employed, as well as the practical and ethical considerations necessary for biomarker data collection within schools. A discussion of the feasibility of collecting biological data in school settings, including the considerable preparation and resources required for recruitment, planning and data collection is included. Lessons learned and suggestions to inform future research and practice in this area are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-486
Number of pages10
JournalSurvey Research Methods
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


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