We carry out research to understand and improve the quality of relationships in society. The results of our research help inform and improve the delivery of our counselling and support services, and shape our policy priorities for our campaigning work.

Current research

We work on a range of research projects to highlight the value of strong and healthy relationships and the impact that relationship support can have on improving relationship quality. 

1. Debt and relationships

We are undertaking a research project, with the generous support of Provident Financial, into problem debt and relationships and whether/how they affect each other. This research project involves several strands:

  1. Rapid review of published literature (academic papers and ‘grey’ literature)
  2. Analysis of data from the Understanding Society longitudinal survey to investigate associations between problem debt and couple relationships
  3. Survey of debt advice clients, to examine whether/how relationship issues feature in debt accrual, and whether/how being in problem debt affects/affected current/previous relationships
  4. Surveys and focus groups with debt advisers and relationship support practitioners to investigate how on each side (relationship support and debt advice) the other issues appear (i.e. how debt features as an issue in relationship support, and whether/how relationship issues feature in debt advice)
  5. National polling

Call for evidence

We are also inviting organisations and individuals who have experience or evidence on how relationships and debt may affect each other to respond to our PDF iconCall for evidence to input to this work.

Please send us your evidence by 12 June 2017.

2. The state of our relationships

The Way We Are Now

We are working with Relationships Scotland and Marriage Care to repeat our highly successful and now regular research “The Way We Are Now”. This research measures the state of the nation’s relationships with regards to romantic and sexual, parental and family, friend and workplace relationships, and also looks at the relationships of parents who have a child with a learning disability. 

Read the Way We Are Now reports 

Support our research work

If you would like to support our research work, through sponsorship, policy analysis or an event, please our Policy and Research team, policyandresearch@relate.org.uk.