APPG for Supporting Couple Relationships and Reducing Inter-parental Conflict


A campaign to stop children being harmed by ongoing conflict between their parents

Supported by:

Andrew Selous MP

Baroness Tyler
Deidre Sanders
(The Sun &
This Morning)

 Professor Mavis Maclean


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 Emeritus Professor
Janet Walker OBE

Newcastle University

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Emily Nickson-Williams

Strategic Lead Early Help
& Relational Practice, 
Rochdale Borough Council


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Research overwhelmingly demonstrates that exposure to frequent, intense and poorly resolved conflict between parents has a long-lasting and negative effect on children's mental health and development.1

This response by the APPG for Strengthening Couple Relationships and Reducing Parental Conflict is supported by Tavistock Relationships, Baroness Tyler, Association of Child Psychotherapists, Kamaljeet Kaur & Claire Field (Parenting Apart Programme), Wells Family Mediation, The Centre for Social Justice, Professor Mavis Maclean, Relate, Foxstones Training and Learning, The Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice in the UK, One Plus One & Dads Unlimited.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Supporting Couple Relationships and Reducing Inter-parental Conflict aims to promote and develop marriage and relationship skills and support, identifying best practice within the UK and internationally, to help reduce inter-parental conflict as well as family breakdown, and support both adult and child mental health and well-being.

The group's officers are as follows:

The next meeting of the APPG will be take place between 6-7pm on 12th May. 

The focus of this online meeting will be on family hubs. 

Speakers will include Samantha Callan (Director, Family Hubs Network) and Frank Young (Political Director, Centre for Social Justice). 

RSVP to to register and receive zoom details. 

A meeting of the APPG took place on 21st October at which Patrick Myers, Senior Ambassador for the Reducing Parental Conflict Team at the Department for Work & Pensions, spoke about the Reducing Parental Conflict programme and provided an update on its progress. 

A meeting the APPG for Strengthening Couple Relationships and Reducing Inter-parental Conflict was held on 21st May on the subject of military families and relationships. 

Presentations were made by:

  • Dr Gabriela Misca and Philippa Feltham-White, University of Worcester
  • Sam Caldwell, Relate
  • Anna Wright, Naval Families Federation
  • Fiona Cook, Relationships Scotland


A joint meeting the APPG for Strengthening Couple Relationships and Reducing Inter-parental Conflict and the APPG on Alcohol Harm took place in the Houses of Parliament on 23rd April 20108 on the topic of couple relationships and alcohol harm. 

Presentations were made by:

  • Kate Thompson, Tavistock Relationships
  • Penny Mansfield, One Plus One
  • Oliver Standing, Adfam


A meeting the APPG took place in the Houses of Parliament on 21st March 2017 on the topic of children's mental health in relation to the forthcoming green paper. 

Presentations were made by:

  • Dr Jane Callaghan (Professor, Psychology, University of Northampton) and Dr Lisa Fellin (Senior lecturer in Clinical Practice, Psychopathology and Mental Health, University of East London)
  • Professor Nick Pearce (Professor of Public Policy, Bath University, and former Chair of No.10 Policy Unit)


November 2014 - On relationship education for adults, young people and children 

A meeting of the APPG on the subject of relationship education for adults, young people and children took place on 4th November 2014.

A meeting of the APPG took place on 25th June in Room C, 1 Parliament Street, on the subject of couple relationships, poverty and social justice. Presentations were given John Ashcroft (Research Director, Relationships Foundation), Kayte Lawton (Senior Research Fellow, IPPR) and by David Holmes (Chief Executive, Family Action). 

A three-way meeting between the APPGs for Strengthening Couple Relationships, Sure Start Children's Centres and Conception to Age 2 - The First 1001 Days took place on 11th March. Jointly-chaired by Andrew Selous MP and Andrea Leadsom MP, the meeting focused on the role of children’s centres in supporting couple relationships, as well as couple relationships in the early years generally.

While the prevalence of mental health problems in the UK is increasingly acknowledged, the role which relationship difficulties can play is under-acknowledged. And yet, according to a study of 5,000 adults published recently (Teo, 2013), lack of support – especially in couple relationships – is a risk factor for developing depression later, with one in seven adults with the lowest-quality relationships developing depression. In order to address this issue, this meeting of the APPG looked at the links between couple relationship quality and mental health (and, in particular, depression). 

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