Project: Research project

Project Details


Although we know marital therapy is generally effective for increasing couple satisfaction, almost one half of couples treated either don't respond to treatment or relapse within two years of therapy. Concerns over these high rates have fostered both new types of therapies and attempts to combine existing therapies. However, these attempts have largely failed to increase the overall effectiveness. (One notable exception is Integrative Couples Therapy, a treatment in the current proposal.) One explanation for similarities in outcome is that different therapies actually create change through the same, moderately effectual, mechanism (i.e., mediator). Unfortunately, previous research has yet to identify important mechanisms of change, especially those speck to different types of couples therapy. This study aims to address this limitation by identifying potential mediators of change in global satisfaction in marital therapy. In this proposal, changes in both complainant (i.e., acceptance of partner behavior) and complainee (i.e., frequency of partner behavior) are advanced as important mechanisms of change in global satisfaction. Secondly, this study will investigate whether Integrative Couples Therapy and traditional Behavioral Couples Therapy, with an emphasis on acceptance and behavior change respectively, will create change through different mechanisms. Finally, this proposal will examine possible moderating variables: attachment style, relationship commitment, and gender. In an attempt to explain the effect of gender (if any), gender differences will be reexamined by two variables found to systematically differ by gender: amount of desired change and role in seeking therapy.
Effective start/end date3/1/018/31/03


  • National Institute of Mental Health: $15,730.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $24,808.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $22,902.00


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