CRVAW Faculty Journal Articles


Naturalistic Observation in Assessment of Behavioral Marital Therapy


The purpose of the present study was to gather preliminary naturalistic observations on the effects of behavioral marital therapy. A second purpose was to gather preliminary data on the importance of the sequence of components of a behavioral marital treatment involving communication training and training in negotiation and contracting. Marital satisfaction of seven couples participating in a marital intervention program was assessed with questionnaires and home observations during a baseline period, after a didactic education phase, after training in communication, and after training in negotiation and contracting. Four couples received communication skills training prior to training in negotiation and contracting; three couples received these components in the reverse order. A 1-yr. follow-up of marital satisfaction was also conducted. Significant increases were noted in self-reported marital satisfaction throughout the program although there was no significant relationship between outcome and the sequence of the NO main treatment components. Data from naturalistic observation showed decreases in the rate of both negative and positive behaviors in marital interaction over the course of therapy.

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Dr. Diane Follingstad had not been a faculty member of the University of Kentucky at the publication time.

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