Prediction of response to treatment in a randomized clinical trial of marital therapy

David C. Atkins, Brian D. Doss, Sara B. Berns, William H. George, Krista Gattis, Andrew Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


This study investigated demographic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal predictors of treatment response in a randomized clinical trial of 134 distressed married couples, which examined traditional (N. S. Jacobson & G. Margolin, 1979) and integrative (N. S. Jacobson & A. Christensen, 1996) behavioral couple therapy. Results based on hierarchical linear modeling revealed that interpersonal variables were the strongest predictors, but their effects were largely limited to predicting initial marital dissatisfaction; greater individual mental health was also associated with less distress initially. Couples who were married longer demonstrated stronger treatment gains, and exploratory analyses suggested that sexually dissatisfied couples showed slower initial, but overall more consistent, gains in the integrative versus the traditional approach. Findings are considered in light of the previous literature on predicting response to marital therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)893-903
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Couple functioning
  • Marital therapy
  • Treatment response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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