07:54pm Sunday 20 October 2019

New study helps military couples to keep the peace

The Couple Relationship Research Team from UQ’s School of Psychology is partnering with the Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health to determine whether the Couple CARE program will improve relationship outcomes for military couples.

Lead researcher Melissa Bakhurst said there was substantial evidence that relationship education programs could improve couples’ happiness and help them effectively manage stress.

“Over the last 15 years, the Couples Research Team has tested a Couple CARE program for civilian couples which they are able to complete in the comfort and privacy of their home,” Ms Bakhurst said.

“We found the program improves communication between partners, and increases relationship happiness.

“The benefits are long-lasting and we find couples who complete these programs are happier for at least four years after being involved.

“The current research adapts the Couple CARE program to address the challenges that occur for military couples, including situations such as assisting couples to reflect on how they communicate when apart due to military service, and how they reconnect after deployments or training.

“We are seeking military couples based in Brisbane, with at least one partner currently serving in the Australian Defence Force, to participate in the program.

“Should this program find that relationship outcomes are significantly improved for military couples, we’re hopeful the Australian Defence Force may choose to make couple relationship education programs available more widely to improve the lives of military families across Australia.”

Military couples interested in participating in the relationship education project can call Melissa Bakhurst, Couples Research Team, UQ School of Psychology on (07) 3365 7414.

More information on the project is available on http://psy.uq.edu.au/mil.

Media Contact: Melissa Bakhurst, Study Leader, UQ School of Psychology, 07 3365 7414, 0431 285 066, m.bakhurst@uq.edu.au.

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