University of Miami

Informed Consent

Nationwide Online Relationship Education

This page describes the research study.  Please read the information carefully. At the end, you will be asked to agree with the statement “I consent to participate in this research study” if you want to take part in this study.

PURPOSE OF STUDY

You are being asked to be a part of a research study to test an online self-help program for your romantic relationship. This program is NOT marriage counseling. We are interested in the impact the online OurRelationship program has on relationship and individual well-being. 

WHAT YOU WILL BE ASKED TO DO

  1. First, you and your partner will have a 20-minute call with project staff and have a chance to ask any questions.
  2. Next, you will take a 30-40 minute online survey that asks about you, your information, and your relationship.  Both you and your partner need to finish this survey to be part of the study.
  3. If you are both eligible, you will be randomly assigned (in other words, assigned by chance – like flipping a coin) to start the program immediately (a 50% chance) or to a wait-list control condition (a 50% chance).
  4. If you start the program immediately:
    • You will work on online activities both separately and together with your partner.  These activities will take about 8-10 hours to complete.
    • You and your partner will have four more calls with your coach throughout the program.  Each call will last about 20 minutes.  You should have these calls in a private location. At the beginning of a call, your coach may ask if it is okay to make a recording of that call.  These recordings are optional; you can still do the study even if you do not want to be recorded.
    • You and your partner will be asked to complete four more research surveys: at the mid-point in the program, at the end of the program, and at 4 and 6 months after you begin the study.  These surveys will take approximately 20 minutes and will ask about your individual background, your mental and physical health, your relationship (e.g., satisfaction, communication), and your children (if applicable). 
  5. If you start in the wait-list group:
    • You and your partner will be asked to complete four research surveys during this waiting period- 1, 2, 4 and 6 months after you begin the study. These surveys will take approximately 20 minutes and will ask about your individual background, your mental and physical health, your relationship (e.g., satisfaction, communication), and your children (if applicable). 
    • Six months after starting the study, you and your partner will be able to start the OurRelationship program (as described above). If you decide to do the program, we will ask you to complete two more research surveys – in the middle and end of the program.

RISKS AND/OR DISCOMFORTS

Doing this program (or answering the surveys) may make you more aware of any relationship problems you have – which might make you upset or worried.

There may be uncommon or previously unknown risks. You should report any problems to the researcher.

BENEFITS

No direct benefit can be promised to you and your partner. However, in earlier studies investigating OurRelationship, the program helped the average couple improve their relationship as well as their mental and physical health.  So, it may be helpful for you as well.

WHAT COULD I DO INSTEAD?

If you do not want to do this study, you could enroll in the OurRelationship program outside of this research study, see a couple therapist, attend a relationship workshop, do another online program, or read a self-help book.

PRIVACY OF MY INFORMATION

To protect the privacy of your information, we will:

  • Use a study ID number: Your identifying information (e.g., name, address) will be separated from your survey responses after download.  Your answers will be linked only to a study ID number. 
  • Use secure log-in IDs and passwords. You will choose your own username and password when you start the program. 
  • Security of electronic data. Data collected as part of this study will be stored on secure servers at Qualtrics.com, Ripple Science, Kineo US (our website company in Chicago, IL), or Mathematica (a company that works with the sponsor).

Staff at the following companies may be able to see your information:

  • The University of Miami
  • Administration of Children and Families (ACF)
  • Companies working with ACF such as Mathematica

By signing this form you allow us to share your information with other researchers. At the end of the evaluation we will deliver the data to a data archive entity. The data will not include your name, address, date of birth, or other ID numbers that could identify you. Other researchers will then continue to learn about the services that people like you could benefit from. 

A Certificate of Confidentiality (CoC), issued by the NIH, covers this research. A CoC helps protect your identifiable information.  A CoC protects your private information from all legal proceedings. Unless you consent, information from this research study that identifies you will not be shared outside this research except as described above.

  • No one can be forced to share your identifiable information for a lawsuit.
  • Your information can’t be used as evidence even if there is a court subpoena.

The CoC does not prevent some disclosures.

  • The researchers can’t refuse requests for information from those funding this research. ACF and their contractors may need the information to assess this project.
  • You can still share information about yourself. You can also freely discuss your involvement in this research, but this is your choice. The information you share will no longer be protected by the CoC.
  • The researchers must disclose things required by law. This includes suspected child abuse and neglect as well as harm to self or others.

COSTS

There are no costs for you to do this study.

PAYMENT

You and your partner will each be paid separately.  The values below are just what you will earn. 

If you start the program right away, you will earn up to $150. You will get:

  • $25 for completing the mid-program survey
  • $50 for completing the post-program survey
  • $25 for completing the 4-month survey.
  • $50 for completing the 6-month survey

If you start in the wait-list group, you will earn up to $225. You will get:

  • $25 for completing the 1-month survey
  • $50 for completing the 2-month survey
  • $25 for completing the 4-month survey
  • $50 for completing the 6-month survey
  • If you enroll in the program, $25 for completing the mid-program survey
  • If you enroll in the program, $50 for completing the post-program survey

For all payments, we will email you gift codes from national vendors such as Amazon, Walmart, or Target.  You will be able to choose your payment from one of these vendors. 

RIGHT TO DECLINE OR WITHDRAW

Your participation in this study is voluntary.  You do not have to start the study.  You can also stop the study at any time during the study.  The investigator can remove you without your consent if he feels it is in your best interest. Whatever you decide, you will not be penalized or lose benefits unrelated to this study.

Supported by the Administration for Children and Families

Funding for this project was approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Grant Number: 90ZB0019. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the Administration of Children and Families.

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