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Publication Date

2016-08-02

Availability

UM campus only

Embargo Period

2016-08-02

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2016-05-13

First Committee Member

Brian D. Doss

Second Committee Member

Kristin M. Lindahl

Third Committee Member

Sara J. Czaja

Abstract

Relationship distress has deleterious effects on mental health, physical health, and quality of life. Although many couples report relationship distress, one barrier to seeking services is that one member of a couple may be too busy or refuse to participate. Relationship interventions offered to individuals have shown promising efficacy, but, as most are offered in-person, barriers on their reach remain. Using a randomized design, the present study tested the efficacy of a fully web-based relationship intervention for individuals (OR-Individual). The program was adapted from the couples version of the OurRelationship program (OR-Couple), which is effective in increasing relationship and individual functioning (Doss et al., 2016). Results indicated that OR-Individual significantly improved quality of life (d = 0.62) and showed a trend in reducing relationship negatives (d = -0.25) during treatment. In general, relationship and individual functioning improvements were maintained through three-month follow-up. When comparing the efficacy of OR-Individual and a demographically-matched subsample of OR-Couple, results showed that OR-Individual was more effective in improving quality of life during treatment (d = 0.67). Change in other variables did not significantly differ by program. Thus, with some adaptations, OR-Individual is a viable option for individuals seeking relationship help. Limitations and future directions are discussed in-depth.

Keywords

Relationships; Couple Therapy; Couples; Relationship Distress; Web-based Interventions

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