Processes of Relationship Approval & Disapproval Survey

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Welcome - Informed Consent


  • Have you ever felt that your friends or family disapproved of your relationship?
  • Have YOU ever disapproved of the relationship of one of your friends or family members?
  • What about approval? Have you ever approved of someone else’s relationship, or had them approve of yours?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then this study is for you! Please read the informed consent document below and then continue on to the survey if you are interested in participating! 

Informed Consent: Study on the Dynamics of Social Network Support for Romantic Relationships

Co-investigator, Dr. Diane Holmberg      Acadia University

Co-investigator, Dr. Karen Blair                   St. Francis Xavier University

Student Researcher, Ryan Moult                   Acadia University

Student Researcher, Kay Jenson               Acadia University

Research Ethics Board Chair, Dr. Stephen Maitzen                    Acadia University

You are being invited to participate in a research study about social network approval (or disapproval) of romantic relationships. This research project is being conducted by Dr. Diane Holmberg, Ryan Moult and Kay Jenson of Acadia University, and by Dr. Karen Blair of St. Francis Xavier University, and is being funded by a St. FX SSHRC Institutional Grant. The objective of this research project is to attempt to understand how people give feedback to, and receive feedback from, their friends and family about different romantic relationships. The questionnaire is being conducted online. It will give us some basic information regarding people’s experiences with relationship approval or disapproval, and will also act as a screening tool for future, more in-depth studies.

You will be asked to provide some basic demographic information, such as age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and so on, as well as some brief information about your experiences with receiving, and offering, feedback regarding your own romantic relationships or a friend/family member’s romantic relationships, respectively. Completing this questionnaire will take you approximately 15-20 minutes.

There are no known risks if you decide to participate in this research study, nor are there any costs to you for participating in the study. Note that agreeing to this consent form does not waive your rights to legal recourse in the event that you experience any harm from this study.  In the event that thinking about your romantic relationship experiences upsets you, you may find it useful to use the internet to search for counselling services in your region. Most areas have free support lines that you can call to discuss problematic issues.

By participating in this study, you will be entered into a prize draw for $50, which will be repeated every six months. You will also remain eligible for any future prize draws, as long this study is running. If you fit the characteristics we are looking for when we conduct future studies (e.g., particular demographic groups, or particular relationship experiences), you may also be contacted at a future date to participate in additional studies, such as interviews or more detailed online surveys. Participation in any subsequent studies is completely voluntary. We will provide compensation, in the form of payment or entries into prize draws, for any future studies we ask you to participate in.  All prize draw money or other compensation will be paid via PayPal (for all participants) or e-mail bank transfer (for Canadian participants only). 

This survey is anonymous. We will not ask for any directly identifying information. All data will be analyzed as a group, and presented in such a way that you are not individually identifiable. However, we will ask you to provide an email address, so that you may be contacted if you win the prize draw and/or if you are invited to participate in future studies. If you wish to remain fully anonymous, please provide an email address that does not contain your name or any other potentially identifying information. If you are a student at Acadia or St. FX, note that your name and student ID number will be entered into a separate webpage, and will not be connected in any way to the data or the e-mail address you provide in the main study. Your name and student ID number will be deleted from our records as soon as you have been granted course credit via SONA. The email address you provide for this study will only be used for the purposes described, and will never be shared with any third parties. There are no conflicts of interest in conducting this study, and the data will not be used commercially in any way.

This questionnaire stores its data on Survey Gizmo’s servers, which are housed in the US. This makes the data subject to the Patriot Act, which allows the National Security Agency to potentially access your data, without informing you that your data has been accessed. If you are not comfortable with this possibility (which, note, also applies to any internet traffic through the US), then you should not take part in this study.

Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. If at any point you wish to withdraw from the study, simply exit the survey by closing your browser window. Note that you can only be entered into the prize draw and be contacted for future studies if you provide us with an email address. If you wish to withdraw your data after survey completion, send us your email address and we will remove your data, as long as it is still possible to do so; however, if the data you provide here has already been used in any follow-up studies and has been de-identified, it will no longer be possible to remove your data from those studies.

Data provided here, still linked to your email address, will be stored until the full series of upcoming studies has been completed (approximately five years). After this time, your email address will be deleted, leaving your data fully anonymous. Your data will be stored on a secure server, and only downloaded onto password-protected computers stored in locked offices. If you have any questions or concerns about completing the questionnaire or about being in this study, you may contact any of the researchers at the email addresses listed above.

If you have read and understood this form, had your questions answered to your satisfaction, and wish to participate in this study, please answer the question below. This is equivalent to providing your signature.
1. If you have read the statement above, please provide your answer below concerning whether or not you would like to participate in this survey: