Marital therapy, retreats, and books: The who, what, when, and why of relationship help-seeking

Brian D. Doss, Galena K. Rhoades, Scott M. Stanley, Howard J. Markman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


When doubts creep in and marriages begin to falter, where do couples turn for assistance? In a longitudinal study of 213 couples over the first 5 years of marriage, results indicated relationship help-seeking was relatively common, with 36% of couples seeking some form of outside help during this period. Individual and relationship difficulties predicted increased use of relationship books and marital therapy in the following year; therefore, these behaviors appear to be important outlets for relationship assistance. In contrast, attending marriage retreats/workshops was related only to demographic variables. Results of the present study suggest that the most common types of relationship help-seeking by community couples are understudied and likely underutilized in the dissemination of empirically based marital interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-29
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marital and Family Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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