University of Kentucky




A key component of the Bluegrass Healthy Marriage Initiative is our dedication to better understanding households in Central Kentucky. Through our work with community partners, we have already conducted detailed research surveys with roughly 650 married and unmarried individuals throughout the region. As we continue to develop partnerships and work with those partners, more surveys will be completed and our understanding of households in the Bluegrass will likewise increase.

Due to our desire to maintain the integrity of our research, our survey instrument, which we call the Constituency Questionnaire (CQ), cannot be made available to the public.

However, we are happy to explain more about what it does and how it works. The CQ is really a compilation of various, research-proven instruments that measure aspects of individual and relational functioning. Among others, we can pick up on marital satisfaction, communication, conflict management, individual well-being, even potential issues of violence.

Participation on the survey is voluntary for constituents of our partners. Through the data gathered we are able to provide a complimentary, entirely-confidential, summary report to our partners, a “Partner Profile,” that assists each partner to tailor their efforts in addressing the needs of their constituents. The combined data from all our partners also allows us to generate information of what needs to be done at a community-wide level to benefit the individuals and families in our service area.


Participants to Date


As of October 22, 2007, BHMI has conducted research with 638 participants. In addition, almost 150 of those participants have completed an educational event or workshop. Some key statistics and findings from the sample are listed below.

Would you participate in Relationship Education?

As the graph shows, almost 80% of the participants stated that they would participate in relationship education.

The Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale (RDAS) has 14 questions that measure how satisfying and stable a couple’s relationship is. The scale gives an overall satisfaction score, and also includes three sub-scales:  

(1) Consensus (agreement on decision making, values, and affection)
(2) Satisfaction (conflict, and the likelihood of breakup)
(3) Cohesion (the extent to which the couple does things together, and discuss matters) 

What the Scores Mean:  A score indicates the degree to which a couple is well-off or distressed; the higher the score, the better off the relationship. Lower scores indicate distress.  


The above graph is a compilation of results of the RDAS. For example, in the first bar, 32% of the participants display distress when reporting levels of consensus with their relational partner. 68% do not show distress in this area. Overall, 41% of the sample reported clinically significant levels of distress with their relationship.

The Intimate Justice Scale (IJS) is a measure of psychological abuse and potential for violence in a relationship. “Intimate justice” might also be defined as ‘responsible caring’ in a relationship. A lower score actually indicates a relationship is more likely to incorporate equality, fairness, and caring into partners’ actions towards one another. When a relationship adopts intimate justice, partners are more likely to feel fairly treated, even if they are dissatisfied with other aspects of their relationship.


15 – 29: Low risk of violence
30 – 45: Likelihood of minor violence
Over 45: Predictor of severe violence 

Below is a graph that compiles the IJS results into three main areas – the percentage of respondents with little risk of violence, those with a likelihood of minor violence, and those where severe violence is indicated. 

As the graph shows, almost 45% of our sample is at a mild to severe risk for the potential of violence in their relationship.

The Outcome Questionnaire 10 (OQ-10) is a quick screening measure to identify the overall wellness of individuals. Clinically significant levels of distress signify a need for active intervention to improve individual overall well-being.

Scoring is split up into three different levels: 

0 - 11: No evident distress
12 – 14: Cut-Off Range for Levels of Possible Clinical Distress
15+: Cut-Off Score for Establishing Clinical Distress.

Higher score means greater levels of distress. Below is a graph that compiles the results into three main areas – the percentage of respondents showing no evidence of distress (0-11), those whose scores indicate possible distress (i.e. 12-14 are scores below cutoff, but fall within the cut-off range for distress), and those where clinically significant distress is indicated (15+). 

The above graph shows that one-fifth of our sample is showing clinically significant levels of individual distress.

If you would like more information or if you would like to get your organization involved in the research and receive a Partner Profile, please contact Cristyn White ( ).


Healthy Marriage Initiative
206 Scovell Hall
670 S. Limestone Street
Lexington, KY 40506
Tel. 859.257.5527
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Copyright 2006, Supported by CALE Lab, Last Updates: Friday, September 15, 2006