Frequently Asked Questions

The study named POWER relationships study can be accessed at the login above. You will be redirected to a secure web platform that will store and manage your data. You must be 18 years or older to take part. The Institutional Review Board at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has approved this research (IRB#22114).

Every 30 days, you will receive a reminder email to take the monthly survey. You will be able to discontinue your participation at any point. We only send new monthly surveys if you have completed a survey within the last two months. We keep reminders to a minimum each month (~2 emails). The study will last indefinitely. Currently, there is no monetary compensation. Our first round of funding ran out in September 2023.

With your help, your input, and your participation, we can do this!

Why are we asking you to keep coming back?

In order to evaluate what is stable over time and to test dynamic relationships between your personal characteristics and your relationship outcomes over time.

How long does the survey take?

The first survey takes people an average of 27 minutes. All follow-up surveys take an average of 11 minutes. The first survey is long to support the longitudinal work we are doing. See a disclaimer about why on our Instagram! In short it is to better measure the constructs to have more confidence in the findings, to maximize the utility of the data you provide by asking a wide range of measures, and because these measures have been studied as each separately being important to good relationships and good mental health. Now we are studying them all together and more thoroughly!

Since this is a romantic relationships study, should my current partner also take part?

While not necessary, we strongly encourage you to have your partner take the surveys, too. If we get enough dyads taking part we can examine how your and your partner’s characteristics and outcomes interact. There will be a unique code at the end of your survey to give to your partner when they take the survey. It’s the same link, just ensure one of you has taken it first and can provide the code so we can link your responses. Neither of you will be able to see what the other filled out.

If I am single currently but I have been in relationships, can I take part?

Yes, we welcome your responses too! You may choose to skip partner demographics and relationship measures, or you can report on the past relationship. Make sure to note down you are currently single on that item though! There will be prompts in the follow-up surveys (if you provide an email) to enter information if you start a new relationship.

If I am single and never been in a relationship, can I take part?

Yes, we welcome your responses too! Your information might not be used in research questions aimed at romantic relationships but there are plenty of other things in the survey that we would value your participation on! Certain sections can be skipped over, and we should explain that in the survey.

If I am in a consensually non-monogamous or open relationship, how should I fill out the partner demographics and the relationship measures?

We do not have overly specific instructions on this, I leave it up to your discretion on how you’d like to fill out those items. I would suggest you choose one person that you are in a relationship with and report on them consistently at the future surveys (you can note if you break up with this person and will be prompted with new partner demographics if you start a new relationship or want to change who you report on). Or you can think of all the people you are in relationships as “one” relationship, if this seems inappropriate in your relationship then whatever you think is best works! We would appreciate information in the textboxes at the end to let us know what you decide and why you felt this was most appropriate for your relationships! Any feedback is helpful to research around open, CNM, or poly relationships.

Will I be compensated for my time?

No. Our grant funding expired in September 2023. The recruitment was quite successful! So we hope to leverage the first round of results to secure more funding to be able to pay you for your time!

How will my information be shared?

We will not share information that is specific enough to identify you, meaning text fields won’t be made available in data repositories and in publications or reports of the sample we will not give cross-tabulated information on groups < 20 (e.g., one person identifies as genderqueer, we will not then report the education or the average age, etc. of only one person). Other researchers can request access to the data, but they will need to go through their university and ours to request IRB approval and we can enter agreements with these researchers on sharing only what is required.

What are you, the researchers, hoping to accomplish?

Independent of the research questions we will address, there are specific areas relating to sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender identity that we lack awareness in public view and in scientific research. We want to do our part in promoting an inclusive scientific community.

What are the goals of the funding received to launch the POWER study?

Romantic relationships have been identified as a specific source of social support that is broadly important to mental health. Sexual- and gender- minority (SGM) people, broadly defined, experience disparate negative mental and physical health outcomes compared to their cisgender, heterosexual peers, and are substantially underrepresented within the romantic relationships literature. The proposed project will recruit a large sample of participants with diverse sexual and gender identities, along with their partners, to complete monthly quantitative and qualitative surveys of individual traits, social experiences, and mental health outcomes to better understand the dynamic interplay among these factors over the course of a year. The broad goal of this project is to create a valid, diverse, and ongoing database with that can address a range of questions regarding mental health and romantic relationships and demonstrates feasibility for long-term grant support from NIH.

What is the difference between romantic orientation and sexual orientation?

An oversimplified answer is that romantic orientation describes who you are likely to date, or partner with, and sexual orientation describes who you are likely to be sexually attracted to. Romantic orientation describes one’s romantic attraction based on a person’s gender(s). See more.

Can you provide some mental health, crisis, or peer support resources for me?