Relationship Rx

Couples with the greatest need for relationship health maintenance and intervention are often least able to afford and access it; therefore, accessible, affordable, effective, and brief interventions are needed to improve relationship health for those who need it most. Consequently, this project examined whether a brief relationship intervention could be effectively implemented with a low-income, underserved population. All enrolled participants (N = 1,312) received the Relationship Checkup, which consists of an assessment and a feedback session delivered in their homes or at a local clinic at their request. Measures assessed relationship satisfaction, communication, psychological and physical aggression, and intimacy at baseline and 1-month follow-up, and program and relationship satisfaction at 6-month follow-up. All participants reported significant improvements on all outcomes with small effect sizes. However, moderation analyses suggested that distressed couples reported significantly larger effects across the board. Overall, participants reported that they were highly satisfied with the intervention both immediately after its delivery and 6 months later. Findings provide preliminary support for the effectiveness of this brief checkup and point to the utility of offering these kinds of low-cost brief interventions in flexible formats for those who might have the most difficulty accessing them.