Get talking to save your marriage, says researcher

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Get talking to save your marriage, says researcher


A man and a woman holding their smart phones.

17 February 2016

If the buzz of Valentine’s Day is already a distant memory for some married couples, a senior academic from the University of the Sunshine Coast suggests it might be time for words instead of action.

A University research team headed by Dr Bridie Scott-Parker is offering to help couples on the Sunshine Coast improve their communication skills to build a happier marriage.

Dr Scott-Parker said the team was seeking married couples of all ages to participate in a 20-minute online survey exploring communication habits and marriage satisfaction.

“Effective communication is a particularly important skill in the development and maintenance of satisfying marriage relationships,” she said. “Ineffective communication with your partner is one of the most common reasons for a couple to seek a divorce.

“We are interested in how married couples communicate with each other, and we are looking for ways that this may be improved so that we can help those who might be struggling.

“Ultimately we hope to prevent divorce and improve happiness in marriages through improved communication.”

The research will be conducted by Psychology Honours student Ellen Wright, who hopes to have a total of 80 couples taking part in the study.

Dr Scott-Parker said the team would like to include couples of all ages over 18 years in the study.

“They can be an older couple or a younger couple; married for a long time or just newlyweds,” she said.
To complete the survey, go to:

Paper copies of the survey are also available by contacting Ms Wright at or Dr Scott-Parker at

— Clare Mckay

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