Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Family Sciences (MSFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Nathan D. Wood


As systems theory has become the foundation of interpreting family interactions in therapy, it has become apparent that taking a systemic approach correlates with improved client growth and satisfaction outcomes. Clients’ systemic orientation to their problems may be influential in determining these outcomes in therapy. Thus, this study focused on how client’s systemic agreement can impact the outcomes of therapy and problem progress. We had 968 partnered individuals with differing economic backgrounds, education levels, and religious backgrounds participated in the study, as well as couples from age 18-72 with the mean age of 31.3. The couples’ SES ranged from below the poverty line to middle and upper class. MANCOVA was conducted to examine how clients’ systemic attributions to their presenting problem in therapy correlated with client couple satisfaction and presenting problem progress after accounting for the therapeutic alliance and initial relationship distress. Results show a statistical trend showing that clients’ perception of therapy progress over the course of therapy may be different depending on the type of systemic attribution they bring into therapy. Implications for the lack of statistically significant findings are discussed.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)