Educate and Empower: An Online Intervention to Improve College Women’s Knowledge and Confidence When Communicating in a Romantic Relationship

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Historically, and especially during the covid-19 pandemic, the vast majority of unpaid family care has been provided by women with devastating associated outcomes including lost jobs, increased poverty, and mental health concerns. Notably, equal family work distribution and healthy communication are associated with women’s relationship satisfaction and fewer depressive symptoms. The purpose of this study is to create an innovative online intervention to educate college women about family work distribution, effective communication, and the PARTNERS Communication Model (a strategy for healthy communication based on existing literature and developed by Trovato and O’Brien for this intervention). A randomized controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of the video intervention. We hypothesized that college women who completed the intervention, compared to those who read a webpage about relationship satisfaction and those in a no-intervention control condition, would have the most knowledge on family work distribution, effective communication, and the PARTNERS Communication Model. We also expected the women in the intervention condition to demonstrate the most confidence in their ability to communicate with a current or future partner. Data analyses will include qualitative data coding using coding schemes developed through qualitative content analysis and a series of four multivariate analyses of variance to test the hypotheses. Ultimately, the goal of this intervention is to increase future relationship satisfaction, reduce depression, and equalize family work distribution for women.


Winner of the 2022 Library Award for Undergraduate Research