The GAYA Study has 3 components: questionnaires, online games, and
a saliva sample. 

  1. Questionnaires

    questionnaire Participants will fill out 5 core questionnaires asking about demographic information, behavioural inhibition, and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Completion of the 5 core questionnaires will take around 20 minutes.

    There will also be 5 optional questionnaires which can be done in under 10 minutes. If completed, youth would be helping some of our students with their projects.
  2. GAYA App

    Youth playing game on smartphoneYouth will next play two games on the GAYA app, which will take around 5 minutes and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

    During the first game, youth will be presented with 5 fish and must find the direction of the middle fish as fast as they can. In the second game, youth will be presented with a balloon that can be pumped up with air. The more air pumped in the balloon, the more ‘earnings’ youth will collect. But youth must be careful. If they pump up the balloon too much, the balloon might explode, and they will lose their “earnings.”
  3. Saliva Sample

    Youth providing saliva sampleYouth will be sent a saliva DNA sample kit to their home or be invited to provide saliva samples at the nearest recruitment site (Calgary, Halifax, Hamilton, Toronto, or Vancouver). We will collect information on your genes using the widely used Oragene kits.

    As soon as we receive your saliva sample it will be kept secure in a locked cabinet until further processing. Further processing takes place at a specialized facility at Dalhousie University that will extract the genetic information from your saliva sample.