Religious and Non-Religious Participation in Alcoholics Anonymous
Information about the Research Study and Consent to Participate

Thank you for your interest in the Religious and Non-Religious Participation in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) survey! You are invited to participate in this study I am conducting as part of my Philosophy Doctorate (PhD) at the University of Waterloo in the Department of Sociology & Legal Studies under the supervision of Professor Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme. The online survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. In order to participate you must be 18 years of age or older. The purpose of this study is to investigate how religion and non-religion influence participation and experiences for those participating in AA. The survey includes questions on religious and non-religious backgrounds and perspectives, experiences in traditional and/or secular AA, which components of AA have been most helpful to your own recovery, and a few socio-demographic questions. At the end of the survey you will be given the opportunity to write-in any experiences you would like to include that relate to the themes of the survey. Please note that anonymous quotations from your open-ended responses may be used in papers and publications resulting from this study. However, if you inadvertently provide identifying information within your responses (e.g. your name), these details will be removed from the data that is collected and will not be included in any public disseminations of this research.

Given the focus of the study and the kinds of questions the survey will ask, it is possible that some questions may cause you to feel upset or distressed, particularly if they cause you to recall past negative experiences. Please remember that participation is voluntary, and you may choose not to answer any questions that you are not comfortable answering. You may refuse to participate, or you may end your participation in the survey at any time by exiting your web browser before clicking on the “submit” button at the end of the survey. If you exit the survey early, the data you provide will not be used in the study and will be destroyed. Given that the survey is anonymous, please note that once you have submitted your responses it will no longer be possible to delete or alter these responses since there is no way to identify which anonymous submission is yours.

The collected data will be retained for a minimum of 7 years on a password protected computer in a locked office. When information is transmitted over the internet, privacy cannot be guaranteed. There is always a risk your responses may be intercepted by a third party (e.g. government agencies, hackers). This research will not be collecting or using internet protocol (IP) addresses or other information which could link your participation to your computer or electronic device.

This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the University of Waterloo’s Research Ethics Committee (ORE #22903). If you have questions for the Committee, please contact the Office of Research Ethics, at 1-519-888-4567 ext. 36005 or

For all other questions about the study, please contact either Zachary Munro at or Professor Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme at in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo.

By indicating your consent to participate in this survey, you are not waiving your legal rights or releasing the investigators or involved institutions from their legal and professional responsibilities. Please consider saving or printing a copy of this letter for your own records.
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