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Ongoing Potentially Traumatic Stress (OPTS) Minimize    

Ongoing Potentially Traumatic Stress (OPTS) Study:  The recent escalation in cartel related violence in Ciudad Juárez has forced many residents of the U.S./México border to confront unprecedented levels of violence.  This study seeks to understand the impact of cartel related violence on individuals highly integrated in to both sides of the border region.  

OPTS Study Eligibility:  Individuals are elibible for this study if they are:  1. students currently enrolled at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), 2. fluent in Spanish, 3. Live in or travel to Ciudad Juárez at least 3 days a week, and 4. have daily access to the internet for at least 10 minutes a day.   

OPTS Study Procedure:  Participants meet with a researcher for a 1 hour orientation session. Participants are provided informed consent, and then complete measures of previously traumatic stress experiences, OPTS levels, depression levels, anxiety levels, general stress levels, social support levels, as well as substance use histories and behaviors (alcohol, cigarettes, illicit drug use, and prescription drug use). These measures are completed online via secure survey webware. Participants are then oriented to the daily survey they are to complete every 24 hours for the next 7 days. Participants then are scheduled for a follow-up session with the researcher not less than 7 days later. In the interim, participants complete 7 daily (24 hour) reports within the secure survey webware. Upon return, participants are screened for traumatic stress symptomology indicative of significant psychological distress.  

OPTS Study Compensation:  The approximate total time investment for each participant is 2 to 2.5 hours. For acceptable participation, participants are provided with a $40USD giftcard to Target stores or 4 experimental credits toward the final grade in a class at UTEP which offers such credit. 

This study is funded by the Hispanic Health Disparities Research Center (http://www.hhdrc.org/). 

Thank you for your interest in this study!  For more information regarding this study, please contact: 

Thom Taylor
Psychology Department, Room 222
The University of Texas at El Paso
500 W. University Ave.El Paso, TX  79968


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