I am conducting a research project entitled "Relational Maintenance Via Webcam for Deployed Military Members" as part of a class project at South Dakota State University.
The purpose of the study is to attempt to answer the following research questions about military members in a deployed environment:
RQ1: Why/why not/when use webcam technologies for relational maintenance?
RQ2: If webcam technologies are used for relationship maintenance, how is it utilized for this purpose successfully? What are the benefits and drawbacks, and how are potential drawbacks avoided or resolved?
You are invited to participate in the study by completing the questionnaire below. I realize that your time is valuable and have attempted to keep the requested information as brief and concise as possible. It will take you approximately 15-20 minutes of your time. Your participation in this project is voluntary. You may withdraw from the study at any time without consequence.
There are no known risks and no direct benefits to you for participating in this study.
Your responses are strictly confidential. When the data and analysis are presented, you will not be linked to the data by your name or duty position.
Please assist me in my research and return the completed survey in a Microsoft Word document attached to an e-mail no later than 6 Dec 14. Please submit your survey to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your consent is implied by the return of the completed questionnaire. Please keep this letter for your information. If you have any questions, now or later, you may contact me at the number below. Thank you very much for your time and assistance. If you have any questions regarding your rights as a research participant in this study, you may contact the SDSU Research Compliance Coordinator at 605-688-6975, SDSU.IRB@sdstate.edu.
Military Deployment Webcam Communication Survey
-Thank you very much for being willing to take this questionnaire! Please be as honest as you can, and feel free to provide as much information as you would like…more content is better! Please type your answers underneath each question. If you are not comfortable answering a question, that is perfectly fine; please just indicate so underneath the question.
-When I use the term "Webcam Communication" I mean conversing with others using mediums such as Skype, Facetime, etc.
-"Relational Maintenance" is defined as behaviors individuals engage in to sustain desired relational characteristics like commitment, love, and satisfaction, and which help preserve a relationship (Ogolsky & Bowers, 2012, p. 344).
-"Everyday Talk" is defined as ordinary conversations between interactants, such as making plans, gossiping, complaining, and small talk (Frisby, Mansson, Booth-Butterfield, & Birmingham, 2011, p. 244).
-Thank you again!
1. When was your last deployment and how many times have you been deployed?
2. Under what circumstances would you choose to use Webcam Communication rather than telephonic communication, texting, or e-mail? Why?
3. Would you ever avoid using Webcam Communication with family/friends? If so, why?
4. On average per week, how often would you communicate with family/friends using Webcam Communication?
4a. Was more sessions of communication via webcam better for your relational maintenance with family/friends or worse? How?
5. On average, how long per session would you spend talking with family members via webcam? With friends?
5a. Was longer sessions of communication via webcam better for your relational maintenance with family/friends or worse? How?
6. If your use of Webcam Communication increased, did you notice/hear about any corresponding increases in stress felt by those you communicated with (e.g. spouse or children)?
7. What do you perceive are the advantages of Webcam Communication in maintaining your relationships with family/friends while on a military deployment? Do you have any examples you would like to share of Webcam Communication being especially advantageous for relational maintenance?
7a. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being the least and 10 being the most advantageous), how advantageous was Webcam Communication for you in maintaining your relationships with family/friends?
7b. Do you have any techniques, best practices, routines that you used to make your Webcam Communication experience more effective/efficient? If so, what?
8. What do you perceive are the disadvantages of Webcam Communication in maintaining your relationships with family/friends while on a military deployment? Do you have any examples you would like to share of Webcam Communication being disadvantageous for relational maintenance?
8a. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being the least and 10 being the most disadvantageous), how disadvantageous was Webcam Communication for you in maintaining your relationships with family/friends?
8b. Do you have any recommendations of practices, routines, etc. to avoid when using webcam communication? If so, what?
9. Was it ever stressful communicating via webcam with family friends? (aside from technical difficulties) How?
10. If you identified any disadvantages with communicating via webcam in maintaining your relationships with family/friends, what were some ways you adapted to these challenges?
11. If you are a male and have a wife/girlfriend/fiancée, did she initiate Webcam Communication more or less than you did?
12. Do you think that webcam use may inadvertently encourage service members to share too much information with family/friends to the detriment of relationships? Did you see this in your experience?
13. How often did you engage in specifically "everyday talk" with family/friends via webcam? Did you ever deliberately avoid topics? How did engaging in everyday talk and topic avoidance affect your stress level?
14. Do you have any final comments about Webcam Communication while you were deployed?
Frisby, B. N., Byrnes, K., Mansson, D. H., Booth-Butterfield, M., & Birmingham, M. K. (2011, July-August). Topic avoidance, everyday talk, and stress in romantic military and non-military couples. Communication Studies, 62 (3), 241-257. doi: 10.1080/10510974.2011.553982
Ogolsky, B. G. & Bowers, J. R. (2012). A meta-analytic review of relationship maintenance and its correlates. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 30 (3), 343-367. doi: 10.1177/0265407512463338