Genealogical Pursuit and Relationship with Family Functioning

You are invited to participate in a Doctoral Research Project being conducted by Bonita Williams Lloyd. The research is being done in partial fulfillment of the requirement for her Doctorate of Psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University/Twin Cities.

Genealogy is the number two hobby in the United States, yet surprisingly little research has been done with the people who practice it. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a doctoral student in psychology, and an avid amateur genealogist, I am especially interested in family relationships and family functioning. I am also interested in family “secrets” and their role in the genealogical search. Some of the questions in this survey are directed toward this topic. One of the goals of this research is to see if uncovering family secrets leads to better understanding of family dynamics and improved family relationships.

This survey will ask questions about:
1. Characteristics of the people who do genealogy
2. Why people do genealogy
3. What people gain from doing genealogy
4. What impact doing genealogy may have on understanding of family functioning
5. How doing genealogy may have affected family relationships
6. Adoptees and genealogical research
7. Children of donor insemination and genealogical research

It will take you about 12 to 15 minutes to complete all the items on the survey.

You may be concerned over who has access to your responses. All information collected is anonymous. I will not receive any information regarding your email address or server. Although an initial computer identifier code is collected when responses are entered, this information is subsequently stripped from all data analyses and erased. No identifying information about your individual answers will be collected or saved. You are free to withdraw from the survey at any time.

Emotional conflicts over family of origin and other genealogical issues are not uncommon; seeking counseling for such issues may be beneficial. The researcher is not seeking clinical referrals, and because there is no way to identify who is participating, no one will be contacting you. If answering these questions causes emotional distress, you might consider discussing these issues with a trusted family member, friend, mental health professional, or clergy.

Please complete this survey one time only.

You must be age 18 or older to participate in this survey.

If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact the principal investigator, Bonnie Lloyd, M.S., LMFT, at bonnieblueminn@charter.net, or the Chair of her research committee, Nicholas Griffith, Psy.D., LP, at ngriffith@argosy.edu, or the Institutional Review Board at Argosy University at autcirb@argosy.edu, which has certified this project.

To obtain a summary of the final results, please send a separate email to Bonnie Lloyd with your request. The summary will be emailed to you as soon as it is available.

Thank you for your help with this project, which I think will be interesting to both researcher and participants. Your participation will help contribute to a greater understanding of the motivations and rewards for genealogists, as well as the impact family history research has on the researcher and his or her family. It may also help psychologists better understand the importance of genealogy for those who practice it, and possibly encourage them to use that knowledge in therapy.


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