Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education

Major Professor

Casey, A, Barrio Minton

Committee Members

Joel F. Diambra, Kristina C. Gordon, Patricia N. E. Roberson


The health and stability of adult romantic relationships and the health of a society are deeply intertwined. This two-part dissertation aims to highlight the potential to bridge the gap between effective interventions and couples who need them most. The first section reviews the literature concerning relationship health, relationship help-seeking, and relationship assistance. A few important findings are revealed. Effective relationship help exists. People often do not seek help for their relationship. When people do seek help for their relationship, the methods they seek have varying degrees of effectiveness. People prominently seek religiously mediated help for their relationship. These findings led the researcher to assess the potential to intervene with an evidence-based intervention adapted for religious contexts. The second section attempts to assess a pilot adaptation of the Relationship Checkup for Christian Churches. This pilot study found that church leaders highly desired an effective model for brief intervention in couples’ relationships and found the Relationship Checkup to be an important tool. They were able to deliver the intervention as thoroughly in some areas as trained clinicians and perceived the intervention to be effective for couples. The study also pointed to the need for more refinement in the training in and supervision of the adapted protocol to increase effectiveness of providers who are not clinically trained. Together, these sections paint a picture of the need and potential for collaboration between clinicians and religious leaders to address the major societal issue of relationship health.

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