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The goal of the SMU Couples Research Lab is to advance understanding and treatment of relationship distress and associated problems. Specifically, we study the couple relationships of people with psychiatric illnesses, how the relationship might affect the illness, and how the illness might affect the relationship. We also study couples that experience relationship aggression and how best to help such couples end aggression and improve their relationships. Our current studies include:

  • A study comparing couples in which one partner has bipolar disorder, major depression, or schizophrenia

  • A multi-site study of couple therapy outcomes

  • Evaluations of programs to reduce sexual violence among teens and young adults


The Couples Research Lab is headed by Lorelei Simpson Rowe, Ph.D. Dr. Rowe is Associate Professor of Psychology at SMU. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005. Her interests include couples coping with difficulties such as severe mental illness and intimate partner violence (IPV), couple therapy outcomes, and interventions to prevent IPV.





Current SMU Research
For more information on current research in the SMU Psychology Department, click here.

Interested in joining the Lab?
If you are a current SMU undergraduate student and are interested in joining the lab as a research assistant, click here.