06: Appendices & References

Appendix A: Demographic Survey

Demographic Survey

Instructions: Please check the box that applies to you or fill in your response.

  1. What is your gender:
    Other: (Specify) __
  2. What is your age: __
  3. What is the highest level of school you have completed or the highest degree you have received?
    Less than high school degree
    High school degree or equivalent (e.g., GED)
    Some college but no degree
    Associate degree
    Bachelor’s degree
    Graduate Degree
  4. What is your ethnicity/race?
    Black or African American
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
    Asian or Pacific Islander
    Hispanic or Latino
    Prefer not to answer
    Other: (Specify)

Appendix B: Interview Guide

The following interview guide was created by Sandra Kieler.

Interview Guide

  1. How did you become a Jehovah’s Witness?
    a. How many of your family members are Jehovah’s Witnesses?
  2. When were you baptized as a Jehovah’s Witness?
  3. What were the circumstances leading up to your disfellowshipping or disassociation?
    a. Was there a judicial committee, if so, what was that like?
    b. When were you disfellowshipped or disassociated?
    i. Was there a public announcement?
    c. Did you ever consider or attempt reinstatement?
    i. Why or why not?
  4. What was life like after your disfellowshipping/disassociation?
  5. How have you been treated since your disfellowshipping/disassociation by members of the congregation?
  6. How have you been treated by your still-in family members since you have been disfellowshipped or disassociated?
  7. What have been some challenges faced because of your disfellowshipping or disassociation?
  8. How have you coped with the consequences of your disfellowshipping/disassociation?
  9. How have you overcome challenges faced since exiting the Jehovah’s Witness faith?
  10. How do you feel about your spirituality now?

Appendix C: Participant Recruitment Announcement

Recruitment Announcement

The following message will be posted to multiple social media forums for EX-JW members like Facebook and Reddit:


My name is Sandra Kieler, a graduate student at CSUSB, and I am recruiting participants for a research project examining the challenges faced by disfellowshipped former Jehovah’s Witnesses and the strategies utilized to cope with subsequent ostracism or shunning. This project involves a brief demographic survey and a 60-120 minute interview discussing your journey as a Jehovah’s Witness, the disfellowshipping or disassociation, treatment from other Jehovah’s Witnesses and still-in family members, challenges faced through this transition, and coping strategies utilized during this time.

Participants must be over the age of 18, a baptized Jehovah’s Witness, and must be formally disfellowshipped or disassociated from the faith. If you are interested in participating in this project, you must be willing to meet at an agreed upon location. If you match these qualifications or know someone who would like to participate, please comment below or private message me. Thank you for your response.”

Appendix D: Debriefing Statement


The study you have just completed was designed to examine common themes among disfellowshipped or disassociated Jehovah’s Witnesses who have faced ostracism from their families and the religion. We are particularly interested in the challenged by disfellowshipped or disassociated Jehovah’s Witnesses and how the strategies utilized to cope. Due to the sensitive nature of the questions in the study, past traumas and experiences may trigger negative emotions and strong feelings. If after participating in this study you feel distressed, resources are available:

County Mental Health Plan Contact Numbers: Please visit this website for a list of numbers for each county to obtain information for county mental health services: https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/individuals/Pages/MHPContactList.aspx
Crisis Outpatient Mental Health Services Riverside: (951) 358-4705
HelpLine 24 Hour Crisis/Suicide Intervention: (909) 686-HELP (4357)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-Talk (8255); in Spanish: 1-800-628-9454

Thank you for your participation. If you have any questions about this study, please feel free to contact Dr. Davis at (909) 537-3839. Results of the study can be obtained from the Pfau Library ScholarWorks database (http://scholarworks.lib.csusb.edu/) at California State University, San Bernardino after July 2020.

Appendix E: Informed Consent


The study in which you are asked to participate is designed to examine the challenges and coping strategies of disfellowshipped former Jehovah’s Witnesses. The study is being conducted by Sandra Kieler, a graduate student, under the supervision of Dr. Tomas Davis, Professor in the School of Social Work at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). The study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board Social Work Sub-committee at CSUSB.

PURPOSE: The purpose of the study is to examine challenges and coping strategies of disfellowshipped former Jehovah’s Witnesses.

DESCRIPTION: Participants will be asked to fill out a demographic survey and answer questions on the challenges experienced while being a Jehovah’s Witness, challenges faced before and after disfellowshipping, reasons for disfellowshipping, coping strategies used during transition out of the faith, and current religious beliefs.

PARTICIPATION: Your participation in the study is totally voluntary. You can refuse to participate in the study or discontinue your participation at any time without any consequences.

CONFIDENTIALITY: Your responses will remain confidential and data will be reported in group form only.

DURATION: It will take 60-120 minutes.

RISKS: Although not anticipated, there may be some discomfort in answering some of the questions. You are not required to answer and can skip the question or end your participation.

BENEFITS: There will not be any direct benefits to the participants.

CONTACT: If you have any questions about this study, please feel free to contact Dr. Davis at (909) 537-3839.

RESULTS: Results of the study can be obtained from the Pfau Library ScholarWorks database (http://scholarworks.lib.csusb.edu/) at California State University, San Bernardino after July 2020.

I agree to be audio recorded: ____ YES _____ NO

This is to certify that I read the above and I am 18 years or older.

Place an X mark here _____________________________________ Date _____________________

Appendix F: Approval Letter

Approval Letter from California State University, San Bernardino School of Social Work


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