The Happy Family Project

Effectiveness of an Empirically Supported Family Intervention: Mental Health Outcomes, Mechanisms of Effect, and Organizational Factors

The Happy Families Project is designed to test the effectiveness of a program to improve communication and conflict resolution in families when it is implemented in community settings.

Research Overview

The Happy Families Project is a RCT-designed effectiveness trial of a family-systems level intervention to improve communication and conflict resolution, thereby reducing stress and supporting mental health and other outcomes. Another goal of the study is to evaluate organizational and other factors that impact the ultimate implementation and scalability of the program in community settings. The proposed sample size for this study is 600 demographically diverse three-person families. The program is being implemented in community settings located in three cities in Indiana (i.e. South Bend, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis).

Funded By

National Institute of Health (NIH)

Age Group

  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Middle Childhood
  • Preschooler
  • Young Adults


  • E. Mark Cummings, Ph.D., (Lead PI)
  • John G. Borkowski, Ph.D., (MPI)
  • Kathleen N. Bergman, Ph.D., (MPI)

Research Impact

The long-term goal is to increase the availability and affordability of empirically-supported family-systems approaches to addressing the mental health needs of families.