For you to add to our growing Tributes Knowledgebase …
The Tributes Survey is open indefinitely for new information on tributes to lost children. We will report new tribute information on this website, in periodic updates to the Tributes to Lost Children report, and in other appropriate ways. There is no charge to participate, and there are no follow-on obligations.
Complete the survey here – Tributes Survey
The original Tributes Survey was designed and conducted in Spring 2014. The data gathered from that first round of completion formed the basis for the report Tributes to Lost Children, which is featured elsewhere on this website.
Subsequent to that initial round of data collection, the survey instrument was streamlined modestly to capture more information about the children and their family representatives. The current Tributes Survey is available online, accessible on a 24×7 basis via the the survey links on this page, and open to anyone who has information to report on tributes to children who have passed away.
The survey is also available of course to anyone interested in reviewing the topic from a research design perspective.
Design of the Tributes Survey
In general, the design of the Tributes Survey is simple and straightforward. A basic minimum set of information is solicited regarding the children and their family representatives. Beyond that, the survey seeks information in four major categories, with the exact wording of the survey questions as noted here:
1. Special Places of Honor
- Did you create a special place for photos and other remembrances of the child?
- If you have a name for this special place, what do you call it?
- Can you describe this place and what makes it special?
2. Online Memorials
- Have you created an online memorial for the child?
- How would you describe the online memorial that you created?
- Did you use an established website? What website did you use? Would you recommend this memorial website to others? Why or why not?
- Describe the things that you have done to honor or pay tribute to the child, and indicate what made each activity so special. [space is provided in the survey for three different tribute entries]
- If you are planning a new tribute to the child but haven’t completed it yet, please describe what you are planning.
- If someone other than you or your family paid a tribute to the child that you thought was especially meaningful, please describe that tribute here.
- As you reflect on the time that has passed since the loss of the child, how would you say that tributes to the child have helped in the healing process?
Data Analysis Plan
As you can see in these four major topic areas, the most substantive questions are phrased to solicit open-ended responses. In order to manage these free-text elements, the research work relies on the communication research technique referred to as ‘content analysis.’ In this case, the ‘tribute’ is the base unit of analysis, and the analysis effort involves disassembling the text responses to the lowest level that represents a discrete tribute, then tagging it with one or more category and subcategory codes.
For example, the response – Created a memorial garden at our home, with pond full of koi, a waterfall, and butterfly attracting plants around the pond. Butterflies are a symbol and a sign to us. – would be treated as one tribute. This one tribute, however, would be assigned the two codes of 1-3 and 1-4, as keyed to the following:
Category 1 – Tributes to Keep Present / Subcategory 3 – Outdoors
Category 1 – Tributes to Keep Present / Subcategory 4 – Signs & Symbols
Once the coding of the text-based material is complete, the individual data elements may be grouped and sequenced and integrated to create an overall report structure that is meaningful to others. We refer to the overall structure that emerged from the first wave of research as the Tributes Framework.
Anyone with questions or comments on the empirical research approach should send a note via our Contact Us form.