Spirituality and Marriage Satisfaction Follow-Up Survey

Thank you for participating! Participation will take approximately 10-15 minutes. You will be able to enter your email address at the end to participate in the drawing for gift cards.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS: Ryan Fraser, PhD; James Dalton, PhD; Jeremiah Burkhart, MS
Freed-Hardeman University
College of Education and Behavioral Sciences


    Our names are Dr. Ryan Fraser, Dr. James Dalton, and Jeremiah Burkhart and we are currently counseling instructors at Freed-Hardeman University in the Department of Behavioral Sciences (Fraser & Dalton) and a doctoral student in counseling psychology (Burkhart). You are being invited to participate in the research study because you are married and have an interest in spirituality. The research may give us knowledge that may benefit individuals or society as a whole. Details of the research are provided below. Please contact us at maritalspirituality@gmail.com if you have any questions.

    Purpose of the Study

    The purpose of the study is to investigate the relationship between married couples’ spiritual compatibility (including shared spiritual activities) and its effect upon (1) sense of emotional intimacy; (2) sense of personal life satisfaction; (3) sexual fulfillment; and (4) overall marital satisfaction. This second wave of the study is completely voluntary and not required of those who participate in the first wave. It involves reassessment to determine whether participation in The Couple's Challenge is beneficial. It is anticipated that there will be between 500 and 1,000 participants.

    Study Procedures

    You will be asked to honestly answer objective personal demographic questions as well as subjective questions related to your marriage via an online survey. This will take no more than 10-15 minutes of your time.

    Risks or Discomforts of Participation

    While the risks to participation are minimal and unlikely, there is the possibility that involvement in spiritual practices could increase awareness of personal or couple deficits and problems that need to be addressed, either spiritually related or otherwise. This scenario could result in frustration and potential conflict over religious beliefs or other areas of your marital relationship. There is a remote possibility that your identifying information could be stolen from the research participants and leaked (this is unlikely as it would require compromising servers with a proven history of maintaining security, or physically compromising the computer of one of the research team). The research team has taken multiple steps to decrease this possibility and to de-identify the data you provide (i.e. removing email addresses from other data). If information is compromised, the principal investigators will notify you via email as soon as possible.

    Benefits of Participation

    Participants may benefit materially should they win one of the prizes for their involvement in the study. Further benefits may include, but are not limited to, deeper and more meaningful communication with their spouse and God, intellectual and spiritual growth, greater self-awareness, and a positive sense of contributing to their family and society by their voluntary participation in the research study.

    Length of Participation

    The study will begin in April 2016. The second survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and should occur approximately thirty days following the completion of the first survey.


    There is an opportunity to win a $500 gift card or one of ten $25 gift cards, which will be given away at the end of each wave. You will be potentially compensated for each survey wave that you take part in. You will not receive any compensation if you choose not to participate in any part of the study or if you choose to withdraw prior to the first survey.


    Your participation in the study is strictly confidential. Your information will be assigned a computer generated numeric code I.D. and will be stored in password-protected, secure databases. Your email address will be manually deleted from the main survey database within 3-5 days and stored along with your numeric code I.D. in a separate database. These measures will protect your privacy and anonymity. An encrypted flash-drive containing research data will be stored in a locked filing cabinet in a locked office on the campus of Freed-Hardeman University. Five years after the completion of the study, all raw data and information will be digitally deleted or destroyed via shredding. In the unlikely event that there is a breach in security, participants will be notified via a message posted on the research website (www.MaritalSpirituality.com) as well as sent as an email. Data will only be presented in written publications or professional presentations in aggregate (collective) form so that individual participants’ information will not be shared as a case study. Names, places, or other personally identifying information will not be presented in any format. In this way, your privacy and anonymity will be protected at all times. Information about your involvement in this research study will not be released without your permission. You will be given a separate authorization form for the use or sharing of your information. It shall be signed by you. Otherwise, your participation will be kept private. Those who may have access to the study records include Dr. Ryan Fraser, Dr. James Dalton, and Mr. Jeremiah Burkhart.

    Participant Rights

    Your participation is entirely voluntary. If you decide to participate in the study, you are free to withdraw at any time. You may choose not to participate. In either case, you will not lose any benefits to which you are otherwise entitled. You are not giving up any of your legal rights or releasing any individual or institution from liability for negligence. Participants who would like a copy of this research after the study is complete, may contact the principal investigator within 12 months after the completion date, which is scheduled to be April 30, 2017, for a synopsis of the findings. These cumulative findings will also be posted on the research project’s website (www.MaritalSpirituality.com) for public access.

    Contact Information

    Please contact Dr. Ryan Fraser and Dr. James Dalton at maritalspirituality@gmail.com with any questions or concerns about this study, your rights as a participant, any research-related injury or distress, or if you wish to withdraw from participating in the study. You may contact the Freed-Hardeman University Institutional Review Board at (731) 989-6438 or email at IRB@fhu.edu for additional information about your rights as a research participant.

    Consent Statement

    I have read the explanation about the study described above and was given sufficient time to ask questions and review my options. I also understand the benefits and risks associated with participating in this research study. I am aware of my rights as a research participant.
    This is a required question