Can Couples Assessment and Feedback Improve Relationships? Assessment as a Brief Relationship Enrichment Procedure

Everett L. Worthington, Michael E. McCullough, Joianne L. Shortz, Erica J. Mindes, Steven J. Sandage, Judy M. Chartrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


Many counseling psychologists provide marital assistance to couples who have relationship problems and those who seek to enrich their relationships. The authors investigated the effects of individualized relationship assessment and feedback in relation to merely completing written questionnaires about the relationships on couples' satisfaction and commitment. Student couples (N = 48; 26 married, 15 cohabiting, 7 engaged) participated either in (a) 3 sessions of assessment feedback (n = 28) or (b) written assessment only (n = 20). Assessment-feedback couples improved more over time than did written-assessment-only couples. The authors concluded that assessment and feedback produce small positive changes in already well-functioning relationships. Those changes may account for a substantial proportion of the changes produced by relationship enrichment programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-475
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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