Enduring Love? Understanding long-term adult couple relationships in contemporary Britain

Lead Research Organisation: Open University
Department Name: Social Policy & Criminology

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The Enduring Love? project examined how couples sustain their long-term relationships, shifting the emphasis away from the 'stressors' that adversely impact on family and couple relationships and focussing on meanings and practices of relationship quality and stability. The research was designed to enable policy-makers and practitioners to speak to the diverse experience and needs of couples.
Research findings
• Gender, parenthood, sexuality and generation appeared to shape experience but there were no defining distinctions between the data of women and men, or parents and child-free couples. However, when one or more of these variables were combined, notably gender and parenthood, differences became more marked and there was statistical significance in survey data.
• Survey findings suggest that parents engage in less relationship maintenance than childless participants. Ratings of both relationship quality and partner satisfaction dipped for mothers and fathers during midlife, pointing to the challenges which parenthood exerts on the couple's relationship.
• LGBTQ child-free participants scored more highly in their relationship quality and partner satisfaction than heterosexual counterparts, but it is unclear whether such rankings are due to greater reflexivity or differences in experience. Such contextual factors were further probed in our qualitative research with 50 couples. Here there was considerable diversity in relationship experience, but overall routine relationship work, good communication (verbal, non-verbal, and tacit agreements), physical affection and sexual intimacy, and investments in other people and activities beyond the couple dyad all combined to sustain the relationship project.
• Most importantly, findings highlighted the importance of everyday relationship practices (like bringing a partner a cup of tea in bed), sharing domestic responsibilities (notably those associated with childcare) and creating couple time (through activities which foster a sense of togetherness). These 'couple practices' demonstrated individual's appreciation for their partner, the couple's commitment to the long-term 'relationship horizon' and appear to provide the emotional resources that enable couples to find a route through tough times as well as good.
Exploitation Route Development of services and resources: relationship support; relationship education
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education

URL http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/enduringlove/
 
Description Enduring Love? Couple relationships in the 21st century Impact and Public Engagement Report The Enduring Love? study was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC RES-062-23-3056) to examine meanings, understandings and experiences of couple relationships, aiming to break down the dichotomy between enduring relationships of quality and good enough or endured relationships. The project capitalized on recent moves in the UK Higher Education sector and funding landscape which require impact and public engagement activities to accompany academic research. For us, this was not only a matter of tagging on external-facing activities; we wanted to embed impact and public engagement. As such, from the outset, we defined Enduring Love? as a dialogic study. The project was initially conceived as part of a wider thematic area that was convened through Intimate Futures and Relational Lives (IFRL) Research Group, funded by The Open University. This IIFRL initiative enabled us to host a meeting to discuss the ways in which professional practice, public sector and media interests might productively come together around ideas of couple relationships. The input from this group underpinned the project proposal and reinforced our commitment to working in dialogue with such organisations and non-academic partners. Once funded, the project established a management structure that underpinned our dialogic aims. Strategy Group members included representatives from the Department for Education (Section for Family Law and Relationships), The Treasury Office, Relate, One Plus One, The Tavistock Institute, CoSRT (College of Sexual and Relationships Therapists), Marriage Care, Bristol Community Family Trust, Asian Family Counselling Service, PACE (LGBT, Project for Advocacy and Counselling and Education). At the start of the funded project, interviews were conducted with representatives from all of these key organisations. As well as enhancing the policy and practice relevance of our work, the interviews established an ongoing dialogue with these organisations, which informed the project thereafter. Our 'pathways to impact' were, therefore, shaped through different modes of cross-sectoral engagement. The event also used the momentum of the new political administration of the Coalition Government, to consider how potential changes in policy might affect personal relationships and families, to identify what research questions and findings would be useful to beneficiaries and in what format, and to agree the most productive ways of continuing and developing communication. Until recently, political and policy interest in family lives has tended to concentrate on supporting children and parenting practices, structured through such government initiatives as Every Child Matters (DfES, 2003), Every Parent Matters (DfCSF, 2007) and Support for All: Families and Relationships (DfCSF, 2010). Following on from the General Election (May 2010), political and media attention may be tightly focused on the economy, but concerns remain about the 'state of relationships' in Britain today. Discussion at the OU-sponsored Intimate Futures Symposium (June 2010) highlighted the coalition government's commitment to support quality relationships and maintain family stability. This highlighted the need for more nuanced understandings of relationship capability and how some relationships are managing to successfully work through the 'stressors' that are encountered during uncertain socio-economic times. The end of the project was equally well-timed, coinciding as it does with the end of this period of government. Dialogue with third sector organisations has thus ensured that insights generated through our study have professional practice relevance. Research evidence in this context is being used to inform delivery and development of relationship support and sex and relationship education (SRE) services. For example, we are currently working with the Family Planning Association to pilot SRE materials that are targeted at young people. We are also working closely with organisations involved in the Relationships Alliance to contribute to the development of relationship support services, through advancing understandings of what constitutes 'quality' and 'stability' in the context of long-term relationships and the emphasis placed upon these values in contemporary political rhetoric and policy thinking. The Relationships Alliance, formed of four leading relationship support organisations - Relate, Marriage Care, OnePlusOne and the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships - has, for example, suggested a range of alternative policy proposals to support couple relationships that go beyond the purely financial (RelationshipsAlliance, 2013). One of its recommendations is the targeted provision of services at those life transition points, such as unemployment, becoming a parent and retiring, that have long been recognised in academic, policy and practitioner research as 'stressors' (Walker, Barrett, Wilson, & Chang, 2010) that some couples struggle to cope with. We were invited to participate in the 'Relationship Summit' that was hosted by the Relationships Alliance (College of General Practitioners, London, 18 August 2014). Here, in the long run-up to the 2015 general election, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that all future domestic policies would have to pass a 'family test' that would examine their impact on family relationships. The research has also directly impacted on the democratic debate on couple relationships through invitations to participate in all-party parliamentary briefings, receptions and consultation events, including House of Commons (July 2013, April 2012 and October 2014) and Houses of Parliament (February 2013). Written research evidence was requested and has been presented to the Centre for Social Justice and Labour policy review. In knowledge exchange activities with stakeholder groups (clinicians and relationship support organisations), and in dialogue with researcher and psychotherapist Reenee Singh, one other area was identified for further exploitation. The emotion map method was pioneered by Gabb (2008) in her previous research on family relationships, Behind Closed Doors. Researching intimacy and sexuality in families (ESRC, RES-000-22-0854) and formed part of multiple methods palette in the Enduring Love? study. The technique is designed to generate data on the emotional dynamic of everyday experience, locating how and where relationships are enacted, in this instance at home. Having worked as a researcher on the Enduring Love? project, Singh was convinced that emotion maps could make a valuable contribution in the clinical assessment and clinical practice toolkit. The graphic depiction of events and interactions literally opens up relationships for personal (and clinical) scrutiny, with the sharing of individual emotion maps between the couple and amongst family members encouraging critical reflection on how events and emotions may be perceived and experienced differently. In collaboration, drawing on case examples from Singh's work as a systemic family psychotherapist, we have explored the applied use of emotion maps in clinical contexts (Gabb & Singh, 2014). Throughout the duration of the project we established regular communication with a wide and general audience. A regular newsletter was produced with a circulation of over 3,500 including many participants from the online survey and qualitative research. Copies of the newsletters are archived and remain available on the project website http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/enduringlove/communication-outputs/newsletter A collection of audio and video podcasts was also produced, being designed to introduce the study to participants and to provoke reflection among a general audience: https://itunes.apple.com/itunes-u/enduring-love-for-ipod-iphone/id495106174 In these podcasts couples reflected on love and commitment, the effect of children, and the 'relationship work' which they do to sustain their relationships. The podcasts remain highly popular, receiving more than 24,000 hits in the first 3 months; they continue to offer an accessible portal into the conceptual themes developed in our academically-oriented analysis. The podcasts have a further purpose in that they provide case studies that are readily and publically available for journalists. There has been extensive national and international media coverage of the Enduring Love? project and its findings. Between mid-January and mid-February 2014, the study generated 135 media features including a slot on the BBC TV news channel. The extent of this coverage has moved beyond the dissemination of findings, provoking on-going policy and public debate on the impact of parenting, sexuality, and what constitutes relationship work more generally. The media coverage has been generally good although some headlines were highly selective in how they read the rich survey findings: 'British women prefer tea to sex' (South China Morning Post, Sunday 19 January 2014). The feature goes on to explain, 'small gestures of appreciation matter far more than big flash romantic displays of affectionbeing made a cup of tea by your partner is a bigger turn-on than sex, but we are talking about Britain here remember'. The academic book has now been completed (Gabb & Fink, forthcoming) and we have been approached by a leading publisher to write a 'trade' book from these findings, that will be marketed as 'the only relationship handbook based on research evidence'. This publication will translate the research findings into an accessible format, providing practical exercises aimed at a large international general audience. The success of the Enduring Love? impact and public engagement strategy is perhaps best summed up by an endorsement received by Ruth Sutherland (Relate CEO), when speaking at the public launch event of the study findings (British Library, London, 14 January 2014): This evidence and research could really raise the national consciousness of [relationship] issues and put them firmly in the debate. I hope we will look back at today and know this is a milestone the beginning of our understanding the need to invest in this area and to generate more and more research to help. References DfCSF. (2007). Every Parent Matters. London: HMSO. DfCSF. (2010). Support for All: Families and Relationships. London: HMSO. DfES. (2003). Every Child Matters. London: HMSO. Gabb, J. (2008). Researching Intimacy in Families. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Gabb, J., & Fink, J. (forthcoming). Couple Relationships in the 21st Century. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Gabb, J., & Singh, R. (2014). The Uses of Emotion Maps in Research and Clinical Practice with Families and Couples: Methodological Innovation and Critical Inquiry. Family Process, doi: 10.1111/famp.12096. RelationshipsAlliance. (2013). The Relationships Alliance. Priorities for Policy. http://www.relate.org.uk/files/relate/publication-relationships-alliance-priorities-2013.pdf Retrieved 08/09/2014. Walker, J., Barrett, H., Wilson, G., & Chang, Y.-S. (2010). Understanding the Needs of Adults (particularly parents) Regarding Relationship Support. Research Brief DCSF-RBX-10-01. London: DCFS.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Brook young people online relationship education materials
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact health and wellbeing, relationship quality for young people
URL https://www.brook.org.uk/your-life/category/relationships
 
Description Emotion maps and use in clinical practice
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Emotion maps, as used in the Enduring Love? project, have now been added to the systemic clinicians' repertoire of visual methods. For clinicians working with families, couples, and young people, they bring insight into how lives are lived, at home. Producing emotion maps can encourage critical personal reflection and expedite change in family practice.
URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/famp.12096/pdf
 
Title Emotion maps 
Description Emotion maps aim to chart how couples interact with one another. To create emotion maps, individuals place 'emoticon' stickers on a floor plan of their home to indicate where different kinds of interactions take place, between the couple and wider family network. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2013 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact 1. Research method now used in clinical practice 2. Article published on method's value in clinical practice: Gabb, J. and Singh, R. (2014) The Uses of Emotion Maps in Research and Clinical Practice with Families and Couples: Methodological Innovation and Critical Inquiry, Family Process, DOI: 10.1111/famp.12096 3. A 'Practical Guide' has been developed and made available on the project website thus extending understanding of and expertise in method's use. 
URL http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/enduringlove/communication-outputs/working-papers
 
Description Couple Relationships in the 21st Century. Survey Findings 
Organisation University of Sunderland
Department Education
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Enduring Love? project aims to advance understandings of personal relationships and family lives in contemporary Britain. The research project was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC RES-062-23-3056) (2011-2013) to examine the ways in which gender, generation and parenthood get inscribed in meanings and practices around the idea of ?the couple?. Our psycho-social mixed methods approach is enabling us to interrogate the ?things? and qualities that help people sustain their relationships, breaking down the dichotomy between enduring relationships of quality and good enough or endured relationships. In this paper we will be focussing on the quantitative and qualitative findings from our survey questionnaire. This survey included three sets of questions on relationship qualities, relationship with partner and relationship maintenance, which enabled us to scope trends in behaviour and the factors which appear to signal relationship satisfaction. Open-ended questions on the likes, dislikes and things that make someone feel appreciated add to understandings on the ?relationship work? that couples do ? or don?t do ? to sustain an enduring relationship.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Enduring Love? Living Relationships in the 21st Century. Key Findings 
Organisation One Plus One
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution From the 7 year itch to the 3 year glitch; from grey divorce and cheating love rats to sumptuous celebrity weddings and childhood sweethearts. Stories about couple relationships saturate the media. Enduring Love? is a timely large-scale study on how couples work through the ups and downs, pains and pleasures, hopes and fears of being in a long-term relationship in contemporary Britain. Qualitative fieldwork has been completed with 50 heterosexual and LGBT couples, aged 18-65 years, living with and without children; a survey questionnaire was completed by over 5000 participants online on relationship maintenance and satisfaction. This presentation will explore key findings from the study.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Enduring Love? Living Relationships in the 21st Century. Key Findings 
Organisation Relate
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution From the 7 year itch to the 3 year glitch; from grey divorce and cheating love rats to sumptuous celebrity weddings and childhood sweethearts. Stories about couple relationships saturate the media. Enduring Love? is a timely large-scale study on how couples work through the ups and downs, pains and pleasures, hopes and fears of being in a long-term relationship in contemporary Britain. Qualitative fieldwork has been completed with 50 heterosexual and LGBT couples, aged 18-65 years, living with and without children; a survey questionnaire was completed by over 5000 participants online on relationship maintenance and satisfaction. This presentation will explore key findings from the study.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Centre for Social Justice 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/parliamentarians
Results and Impact Written research evidence requested from CSJ - Research Briefing Paper and Survey Report sent in response.

CSJ Policy Advisor (David Majorbanks) attended the end of project event: 'Findings, Dialogue and Future Directions'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description All Wales Sexual Health Conference (Llandudno) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference paper generated discussion and questions from policy makers, sex educators and health professionals

Planned collaboration with FPA (UK leading sexual health charity) to include:
1. development of sex and relationship education resources for young people
2. development of publication for use in health promotion workshops
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description An eLearning pack, for teachers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact An eLearning pack has been developed in collaboration with Brook, to equip teachers to deliver SRE (sex and relationships education) lessons in schools. Brook currently delivers sex and relationships education (SRE) in 10% of UK schools. The materials produced were used as part of the successful campaign to establish compulsory SRE in schools
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.brook.org.uk/our-work/relationships-enduring-love
 
Description Art of Relationships, film series 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A series of evidence-based films, Art of Relationships, were produced in collaboration with filmmaker Steve Geliot - shown at the Royal Society of Arts, London (27/05/2016) and hosted online (OpenLearn, YouTube, Vimeo). These films are designed to provoke audience reflection on personal relationship experience and facilitate exploration of 'Art as a pathway to impact' (Langdridge and Gabb, forthcoming).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/art-of-relationships/
 
Description Attendance at Love, Sex and Intimacy Fair (Brighton) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Professional practice master class that stimulated discussion and reflection by counsellors and those working in relationship support

1. Dissemination of research evidence among professional practice audience
2. Development of research-practice networks
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description BBC TV News Channel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact News feature on key findings: how do couples sustain long-term relationships
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Enduring Love? Couple Relationships in the 21st Century 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The Enduring Love? study is exploring what it means and feels like to be a couple in contemporary Britain. In this feature we outline key findings from the study and focus on the 'things' that help people sustain their relationships. Our data indicate that couples not only accept that relationships take and need work; they also appreciate, cherish and even at times relish the mundane emotional and practical labour that is required to sustain long-term relationships.

Discover Society
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.discoversociety.org/enduring-love-couple-relationships-in-the-21st-century/
 
Description Enduring Love? Newsletter 1 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Regular project newsletters reported:

• research progress

• related research and study findings

• media stories

• social policy updates

Project newsletters are circulated electronically, reaching over 3500 subscribers. These included policy makers, practitioners, media commentators, and a large general audience. Many of this general audience participated in the study and signed up for these research updates.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/enduringlove/files/enduringlove/file/ecms/web-content/EL-News...
 
Description Enduring Love? Newsletter 2 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Regular project newsletters reported:

• research progress

• related research and study findings

• media stories

• social policy updates

Project newsletters are circulated electronically, reaching over 3500 subscribers. These included policy makers, practitioners, media commentators, and a large general audience. Many of this general audience participated in the study and signed up for these research updates.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/enduringlove/files/enduringlove/file/ecms/web-content/EL-News...
 
Description Enduring Love? Newsletter 3 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Regular project newsletters reported:

• research progress

• related research and study findings

• media stories

• social policy updates

Project newsletters are circulated electronically, reaching over 3500 subscribers. These included policy makers, practitioners, media commentators, and a large general audience. Many of this general audience participated in the study and signed up for these research updates.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/enduringlove/files/enduringlove/file/ecms/web-content/EL-News...
 
Description Enduring Love? end of project event: 'Findings, Dialogue and Future Directions' (British Library, London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentations by Enduring Love? project leaders and key note speakers generated wide-ranging questions from audience (one third of whom were non-academic - policy makers, professional practitioners, media commentators and general public)

1. significant international and national media coverage of conference raised study profile and prestige
2. personal prestige of PI and Co-I raised - with ongoing media requests for 'expert' interviews on UK relationships. JG identified as 'one of Britain's leading researchers into long-term relationships' (Sunday Times, 16/02/2014)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Festival of Social Science talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact ESRC Northern Ireland Festival of Social Sciences
Invitation to present a seminar on 'Sustaining long-term relationships in contemporary society' at the Ulster Museum, Belfast
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Interview (Brazil TV) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact news feature on parenthood and couple relationships
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Interview, Brazil TV 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview on the relationship work that couples complete to sustain lifelong relationships - Brazil TV (11/02/2016)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Interviews with key stakeholders - Department for Education, The Treasury, One Plus One, Tavistock Research Institute, Asian Family Counselling Service, PACE, Marriage Care 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Interviews raised the profile of the research and identified key areas of interest and concern for policy. These were then integrated into the project.


1. Project designed and advanced through impact agenda
2. Research-policy-practice networks consolidated
3. Strategy Group for project established
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Labour Party Policy Review Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participation in discussions raised knowledge and understanding about the project

Too soon for evidence of impact
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Look to LGBQ and older couples for good relationship advice 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article in The Conversation which discusses dimensions of LGBQ experience featured in the Enduring Love? Survey Report

The Conversation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://theconversation.com/profiles/jacqui-gabb-113770/articles.atom
 
Description Love Across Border Control 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact There is a growing commercialization of international love these days and one that seems to pivot on crude stereotypes about the hyper-gendered qualities of 'foreign' partners. Family Systemic Psychotherapist Dr Reenee Singh worked as a researcher on the Enduring Love? project. Here she asks: How do couples and families cope with the difficulties imposed on them by the Home Office? What are the experiences of couples where one is a migrant to the UK? What are the strengths and resiliencies within such relationships? Drawing on her experience and project data she explores the ways that the experience of Asian couples may differ from their English counterparts, working to develop a more nuanced understanding of the inevitable differences between these couple relationships.

Media Diversified
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://mediadiversified.org/2014/02/05/loving-across-border-control/
 
Description Meetings with project stakeholders 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dialogue to embed impact in Enduring Love? project proposal and share ideas on development of project's research aims and questions.

1. Penny Mansfield (MBE, Director One Plus One) named referee for project proposal
2. Relate co-funded (with Open University) PhD Charter Studentship (2012-2015)
3. Research-policy-practice networks established
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Newsletters (1-3) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Reached a large audience (n=3,500) of study participants, policy makers, professional practitioners, media commentators, academic researchers and general public and generated considerable interest among readers.

1. Disseminated project progress and findings
2. Raised the profile of relationship research and policy more widely
3. Received very positive feedback - 'really interesting'; 'can't wait for the next one!'; 'looks great'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013
URL http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/enduringlove/communication-outputs/newsletter
 
Description Newspaper and magazine interviews 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Print and online media invited interviews on various topics related to how couples sustain long-term relationships, including:
Daily Mail (5-6/02/2016), Independent (7/02/2016), Saga Magazine (01/03/2016), The Telegraph (12/01/2014), CCN.Com (15/01/2014), Huffington Post (14/01/2014), The Conversation (17/01/2014), SEMANA Magazine, Columbia (16/01/2014), Sunday Times (15/02/2014 and 21/12/2014), Psychologies (31/03/2014) Observer (14/07/2015).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
 
Description One Plus One (London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation generated extensive discussion and suggestions for further interrogation of project data

1. consolidation of collaboration with One Plus One
2. invitation to present at One Plus One conference
3. discussion of possible future research collaborations between The Open University and One Plus One
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Online materials for young people. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact In collaboration with Brook, findings from the Enduring Love? study have been 'translated' into freely accessible online materials for young people. Brook is a charity that works with over 275,000 young people every year. Materials are being used in Brook youth groups and also through individually-accessed downloads
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.brook.org.uk/your-life/category/relationships
 
Description Production of audio and video podcasts (iTunes) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact iTunes watched by general public audience (n=24,000) and were especially popular with younger demographic

1. Introduced project to potential participants
2. Generated interest in the project and consideration of the topic of 'enduring love' more widely.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL https://itunes.apple.com/itunes-u/enduring-love-for-ipod-iphone/id495106174
 
Description Radio interviews 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interviews on various aspects of how couples sustain long-term relationships with national and international local radio programmes, including: Radio Voice Russia (14/01/2014), Irish National radio RTE (14/01/2014), BBC Radio 5 Live (14/01/2014), Premier Radio (14/01/2014), BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire (14/01/2014 and 16/12/2014), BBC radio Leeds (13/01/2014), Gloucester (13/01/2014), Radio Bristol (15/01/2014), Waterford Radio Ireland (15/01/2014), BBC Ulster (15/01/2014).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
 
Description Relate Annual Conference (Birmingham) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation provoked considerable interest among audience of counsellors and Relate Management Board as well as an extended 'question and answer' discussion

1. Dissemination of project's survey findings
2. Conference feedback recorded considerable interest in project among professional practice community and requests to learn more about project's findings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Relate Annual Conference (Oxford) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation generated extensive discussion and reflections on project findings for professional practice

1. further consolidated collaboration with Relate
2. dissemination of research evidence among Relate members/counsellors more widely
3. extended ideas for use of emotion maps in clinical practice
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Request from Labour Party Policy Review 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/parliamentarians
Results and Impact Written research evidence requested - Research Briefing and Survey Report sent

Invitation to participate in Labour Party Policy Review symposium
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Requests from Department for Work and Pensions and Department for Education 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/parliamentarians
Results and Impact Written research evidence requested by both Department - Research Briefing and Survey Report sent

Consolidation of collaboration with DfE
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Secrets of Enduring Love (Barker and Gabb, 2016, Vermillion, Random House) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Academic analysis has been 'translated' for a general readership in a co-authored self-help book. Commissioned by leading market publisher Vermillion Random House, The Secrets of Enduring Love (2016) sold over 2000 copies worldwide in the first six months of publication and was also serialized by The Daily Mail (1-5/02/2016), reaching a readership of 4 million, with a further 100 million website unique visitors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secrets-Enduring-Love-make-relationships/dp/1785040235/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&q...
 
Description Sex and Relationship Research Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Detailed questioning and engaged discussions

Recommendations of 'best practice' in publicising sex and relationship findings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Visit to Department for Education 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/parliamentarians
Results and Impact Presentation generated questions and discussion and ideas for sharing/disseminating findings to media

Consolidation of collaboration with DfE
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Visit to Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Research methods class that raised considerable interest in the potential of emotion maps for use in clinical practice and assessment

1. Collaboration with Dr Reenee Singh, a systemic psychotherapist, who now uses emotion maps in her clinical practice
2. Two articles have been written up on this applied technique - see publications
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013