Collecting biomarkers in Australian primary schools: Insights from the field


  • Mandy Truong Monash University
  • Mienah Z Sharif
  • Rebecca Moorhead
  • Jeffrey Craig
  • Pamela Leong
  • Yuk Jing Loke
  • Kevin Dunn
  • Naomi Priest



biomarker, biosample collection, school


There are increasing efforts to incorporate biology into our study of the social determinants of health.  While there is increasing utilisation of biosocial methods in child health and 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 public schools. Students participated in hands-on science tutorials that provided an overview of the study protocol and goals. This paper describes the methods employed, as well as the practical and ethical considerations necessary for biomeasure data collection within schools. This study discusses the feasibility of collecting biological data in school settings, including the considerable preparation and resources required for recruitment, planning and data collection. Lessons learned and suggestions to inform future research and practice in this area are discussed.




How to Cite

Truong, M., Sharif, M., Moorhead, R., Craig, J., Leong, P., Loke, Y. J., Dunn, . K., & Priest, N. (2020). Collecting biomarkers in Australian primary schools: Insights from the field. Survey Research Methods, 14(5), 477–486.