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K-State Today

April 14, 2016



Want to decode your relationship with science? There’s an app for that: Support Relevate today

By Amber Vennum

Relevate logo

A research team from the School of Family Studies and Human Services in the College of Human Ecology is developing a website and companion mobile app that will use scientific research to explain the intricacies of human bonding.

"Elevate your relationship" quickly became the project's name: Relevate. This research team includes K-State faculty, graduate students in marriage and family therapy and business administration, and undergraduate students in family studies and human services, psychology and computer engineering. Partner universities also have faculty and graduate students involved in the project.

The Relevate team's mission is to bring research informed, personalized and up-to-date information to help everyone achieve and maintain healthy romantic relationships through accessible mobile technology. Since the majority of young adults own a smartphone with minimal differences across demographic groups, using a mobile health model seemed a promising avenue for reaching broad audiences. The team began by researching how young adults access information about romantic relationships currently, where the resulting misinformation comes from, and what would better meet their needs. Collected research shows that the best delivery methods for relationship advice were a website filled with images, infographics and relevant information, and a cutting-edge app that smartphone users could download.

The goal of this mobile hub is to elevate the lives of people across the world on their journey in and between romantic relationships by creating a trustworthy and relevant platform for romantic relationship scholars and practitioners to directly share their research and theory-driven insights with people seeking resources for making their relationship goals a reality. The team is excited about the content as it gathers scientifically based answers to questions such as:

• Do soul mates still argue? Quick answer: Yes, it's how they discuss disagreements that matters.

• Is compatibility between partners the biggest predictor of relationship success? Quick answer: Yes and no. Partners need to be accommodating to each other's likes and dislikes.

Other interesting topics include managing finances in relationships, discussing and planning a future with the one you care about, the effect of a bad romance on your health and how interracial relationships are increasing. Check out Relevate's Facebook page for examples of content they are planning to bring to their website and app.

The next step for the Relevate team is to raise funds to further develop the website and mobile app to bring all of the scientific, peer-reviewed relationship advice to you and people everywhere. Check out the Indiegogo campaign and become a Relevateer with opportunities to donate, receive goodies and become a beta tester.

Contact Amber Vennum, executive director of Relevate, at avennum@k-state.edu for more information.

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