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Publication Date



UM campus only

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Brian D. Doss

Second Committee Member

Amy Weisman de Mamani

Third Committee Member

Michael T. French


The negative impacts of relationship distress on the couple, the family, and the individual are well known. However, couples are often unable to access effective treatments developed to combat these effects – including many couples who might be at highest risk for relationship distress. Online self-help interventions decrease the barriers to treatment and provide couples with high quality, research-based programs they can do on their own. Using a combined multiple baseline and randomized design, the present study investigated the effectiveness of the Brief (Abbreviated-OR) program with and without staff support in improving relationship distress and individual functioning (N = 208). Results indicated the program produced significant gains in several areas of relationship functioning; however, these gains were smaller in magnitude than those observed in the Full-OR program. Furthermore, effects of the Abbreviated-OR were not sustained over follow-up. Comparisons between couples randomized to the Abbreviated-OR program with and without contact with a staff coach indicated that coach contact significantly reduced program non-completion and improved program effects. Limitations and future directions are discussed.


couple intervention; IBCT; web-based; self help