Christina M. Schultz, MA
Resident in Counseling
Supervised by Megan A. Ellis, LPC
Thriving Families Counseling, LLC


PROJECT TITLE:  The Influence of Continuing Bonds on Marital Satisfaction for Remarried Widows/er and Their Spouses

You are invited to join a preliminary quantitative and qualitative research study to look at the influence of continuing bonds and widowed remarriage on marital satisfaction for both the remarried widow/er and his/her spouse or partner.  Please take whatever time you need to discuss the study with your spouse, or anyone else you wish to. The decision to join, or not to join, is up to you.

In this research study, I am examining the role of continuing bonds on marital satisfaction in widow/er remarriage for both the remarried widow/er and the spouse. 

I will be collecting your basic demographic and marriage demographic information, basic information related to the death of your spouse (e.g. time since death, age at death, and way of death), continuing bond assessment, marital satisfaction assessment, and qualitative questions concerning the nature of your bond in remarriage and your thoughts on how your bond or your spouse’s bond with your deceased wife or husband impacts your current marriage.

Two research studies (Brimhall & Engblom-Deglmann, 2011; Bokek-Cohen, 2014) have examined the prevalence and role of former spouse ties or on postbereavement remarried couples.  This study will be the second study in the United States and third in the world that has examined widow/er remarriage satisfaction and continuing bonds. Due to the increase in widow and widower remarriage and higher divorce rate with remarriage, continued attachment in to one’s deceased spouse and its potential impact in remarital satisfaction is one such interpersonal factor that is worth studying.  To learn more about continuing bonds in bereavement, please see my blog posting entitled “The Complexities of Continuing Bonds in Bereavement.” 

You should know that you may NOT participate in this study if you are a friend, family member, acquaintance, or my client, because I have to avoid actual and/or the appearance of a dual role and pressuring research participants, in accordance to American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics. 
Participants who qualify are married heterosexual and homosexual adults, with one partner as a remarried widow or widower.  This study is not going to examine cohabitating partners or engaged partners.  Although more research is needed in this area, I need to simplify and control for these variables by limiting this study to married couples.

If you decide to participate, please contact me at (571) 882-2925 or [email protected]  I will provide you a consent form and the survey via e-mail.  This survey will take you about 30 minutes. I will be happy to share the results of this preliminary research with you in the future.  
You can stop participating at any time.