Maintenance of Relationship and Individual Functioning Gains Following Online Relationship Programs for Low-Income Couples

McKenzie K. Roddy, Kayla Knopp, Emily Georgia Salivar, Brian D. Doss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Initial evidence suggests that gains in relationship functioning from brief, web-based programs are maintained through one year following the intervention; however, whether these results generalize to a low-income sample is unclear. Furthermore, previous research from in-person couple therapy suggests there may be different shapes of maintenance slopes for behavioral versus acceptance-based techniques. This study contacted 668 individuals who enrolled in online behavioral (ePREP) or acceptance-based (OurRelationship) programs one year following completion of the program. Multilevel modeling was used to examine linear and quadratic rates of change in the year following the online intervention as well as total amount of change from pretreatment to 12-month follow-up for both relationship and individual functioning. The majority of couples who responded continued to be in a relationship with the same partner (68.3%). Examinations of relationship functioning indicated couples in both programs maintained their gains over follow-up (i.e., no significant linear or quadratic changes), with medium-to-large within-group effect sizes from pre- to one-year follow-up. There were no significant differences in relationship outcomes between OurRelationship and ePREP. Similarly, examinations of individual functioning outcomes indicated couples maintained their gains over follow-up or continued to improve. In total, couples experienced small-to-medium within-group effect sizes from pretreatment to one-year follow-up, with larger effects for individuals who were initially distressed. These results suggest that online programs create lasting change for low-income couples in relationship and individual functioning, with minimal differences between behavioral and acceptance-based orientations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-118
Number of pages17
JournalFamily Process
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Couples/Romantic Relationships
  • Longitudinal Data
  • Self-Help
  • Web-Based

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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