Piloting OurRelationship.dk

Project: Research

See relations at Aarhus University


High levels of couple conflict or distress take their toll on happiness, well-being and health for adults and children alike. In Denmark, one out of five couples suffer from relationship distress (Trillingsgaard, Sørensen & Fentz, 2018) and one in two marriages end in divorce (Statistics Denmark, 2017). Due to the repetitive nature of relationship problems, one in eight children grow up in relationship turbulence with changing family constellations throughout their childhood (Dencik, Jørgensen, Sommer, 2008).

From the international literature, we know that adults, who are distressed in their couple relationship, tend to experience poorer mental and physical health (Robles, Slatcher, Trombello, & McGinn, 2013;Whisman, 2007) and are more often victims of psychological and physical partner violence (Stith & Green, 2008). For children, exposure to high levels of conflict and aggression among parents is associated with poor emotional, behavioral, social and cognitive functioning in childhood and beyond (e.g. Cummings & Davies, 2002).

Despite this, in Denmark less than one in ten couples who are currently distressed in their relationship seek any type of traditional face-to-face couple therapy or counseling, and those who do tend to only be couples with higher socio-economic status (Trillingsgaard et al., 2018). Within the Danish public health care system, conditions related to high levels of conflict or distress among parents do not release any treatment or psychosocial support and the price of private couple consultancy is high. Hence, there is a wide gap between the number of couples and families who are in need of help and the number of opportunities available to them. A low-cost, easy-access, and effective online program for distressed couples could break down barriers for receiving help and potentially have impact on relationship health for children and adults at the population level.

The OurRelationship program is an 8-hour, web-based, primarily self-help program for developed in the US. It has shown strikingly positive and long-term results within a diverse sample of distressed American couples (Doss et al., 2016). An independent replication of these results is needed. This project aims to translate, feasibility test and pilot for a randomized controlled trial (RCT) replication the efficacy of the program. If results meet expectations of feasible implementation, we suggest the next step to be a randomized controlled trial.
Effective start/end date01/04/201930/06/2021

ID: 164769209