Letter of Informed Consent
As part of a pool of individuals offered to take online surveys, I must be 18 years of age or older to
participate in this study. I understand that participation is entirely voluntary and at a time of my
choosing. The researcher does not impose any consequences if I decide not to participate,
withdraw at any point, or decline to answer any question for any reason. Taking the survey will take
approximately 10-15 minutes. There are 33 multiple-choice questions in all. It is expected that
approximately 240 people will participate in this study.
If I agree to be in this study, I’ll select one important person in my life who has died. I will then be
asked multiple choice questions about that person, how we are related, whether I’ve experienced
various types of bonds to that person in the past year and how I felt about those experiences. The
survey also includes a few questions about my religious beliefs, if any, and my sense of my own
The risks associated with this study are minimal. There is a remote chance that taking this survey
will bring back painful memories of the person who passed away. If the death in question feels too
recent or I have concerns that taking the survey may distress me, I am encouraged not to take the
survey. I always have the option of not answering any question that I feel might cause me distress
or to stop taking the survey completely. If I do have distressing feelings that persist, I can contact
Mark Carlson-Ghost or visit www.adec.org and click on “Resources” to obtain information about
grief specialists in my area.
A possible benefit of participation in this study is that I may get ideas on positive ways to maintain
continuing bonds with a person who has passed away. I may also experience a sense of comfort in
knowing that I am not alone in some of the ways I maintain continuing bonds. I will not receive
compensation from the researcher or the university for my participation in this study.