Maintenance of Gains in Relationship and Individual Functioning Following the Online OurRelationship Program

Brian D. Doss, McKenzie K. Roddy, Kathryn M. Nowlan, Karen Rothman, Andrew Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


In the United States, more than 40% of marriages end in divorce and more than one third of intact marriages are distressed. Unfortunately, only a minority of couples seek couple therapy to improve their relationships. Online interventions, with their increased reach and reduced costs, offer the potential to improve relationships nationwide. The online OurRelationship program has been shown in previous nationwide studies to improve relationship and individual functioning. The present study examined whether initial gains in the OurRelationship program were maintained in the following year and whether the extent of maintenance varied across important demographic and individual factors. In this study, 151 distressed heterosexual couples (302 individuals) who were randomized to the OurRelationship program were assessed 3 and 12 months following the intervention. Initial gains in relationship satisfaction, relationship confidence, and negative relationship quality were maintained through 12 months; positive relationship quality significantly improved over follow-up. Furthermore, couples maintained their initial gains in depressive symptoms, perceived health, work functioning, and quality of life; anxious symptoms continued to significantly decrease over follow-up. Finally, there was no evidence that historically underserved groups—racial/ethnic minorities, lower income couples, or rural couples—experienced greater deterioration. In fact, Hispanic couples reported continued improvement in relationship confidence and negative relationship quality in the 12 months following the program. The ability of the OurRelationship program—an 8-hour, primarily self-help program—to create long-lasting improvements in distressed relationships indicates it may have the potential to improve the lives of distressed couples on a broad scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • internet
  • intervention
  • marriage
  • online
  • relationship satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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