We get a lot of requests to tell you about surveys. But most of them don’t involve money.
Some great researchers at the University of Colorado Denver are on the hunt for about 600 military couples who want to participate in at least one long online survey (with the possibility of more later) -- and get paid for it.
It is long, between 500 to 550 questions that will probably take about an hour to complete, but everyone who completes the initial survey will score a $50 gift card per person to their choice of either Target, Walmart, Amazon or Starbucks. If the couple is selected to do a future survey they’ll get paid a $75 gift card per person.
But the researchers are looking for a very specific kind of military couple. Here’s what they need:
A straight couple who has been together at least a year, including before the male servicemember deployed. They don’t have to be married, but the female must be a civilian.
The servicemember had to have returned from Afghanistan within the last three months.
Pretty simple, right?
Here at SpouseBuzz we’ve worked with this group of researchers before, and often reference their past work. They’ve done a slew of studies, including one on whether or not those marriage retreats the Army does helps keep couples from divorce.
This time they are looking to come up with some helpful guidance for military families on dealing with reintegration. Specifically, they said, no study has really looked at how couples handle those dicey “so do you want to talk about what happened over there?” post-deployment conversations and been able to actually analyze what seems to work best and what seems to lead to problems. They are hoping this study will fix that.
“It’s about this post deployment period and about how there’s a lot of uncertainty about what he went through, whether he is experiencing PTSD, what to talk about, how to talk about it, who do you talk about it with – and are there ways that you can be supportive without all this talk?” said Elizabeth Allen, the project’s head researcher.
And the questions she’s asking are good ones. At reintegration briefings you may hear the advice to “be a listening ear if he needs one,” but the suggestions tend to stop there. How do you know if he needs one? And what if he does need one but he’s not comfortable making you it? What if what he has to say is so heavy and so scary that, frankly, you wish he’d talk to someone else? What if you are trying to give him space, but not sure how much helps him versus makes you more isolated from each other?
This project seeks to iron out how couples are tackling this so that they can give recommendations on how others can muddle through.
The survey will ask many pretty personal questions, including a bunch on mental health, but Allen wants to make sure everyone knows that it is entirely confidential and that nothing will be shared with the spouse or command.
Want to participate? Here’s how:
Go here to read up about the study and fill out the eligibility form. Both you and your servicemember must each fill out one.
If you fit what Allen and her team are looking for, you’ll be emailed (to a non-government email address) a link to the survey, which will take about an hour to complete. Have questions? You can email the researchers at relationshipstudieslab(at)ucdenver(dot)edu. (Change the "at" to "@" and the "dot" to "." ... we edited the email address so the mean little spam bots can't send the fine researchers unwanted messages).
Give these researchers -- and the rest of the military community -- a hand by clueing them into what works and what doesn’t after homecoming.
Elizabeth Allen helped me write this post so that I could get all the nitty-gritties about their study just right. Thanks!