Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Randomized Controlled Trial
, 78 (2), 225-35

Marital Status and Satisfaction Five Years Following a Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Traditional Versus Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy

Affiliations
Randomized Controlled Trial

Marital Status and Satisfaction Five Years Following a Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Traditional Versus Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy

Andrew Christensen et al. J Consult Clin Psychol.

Abstract

Objective: To follow distressed married couples for 5 years after their participation in a randomized clinical trial.

Method: A total of 134 chronically and seriously distressed married couples were randomly assigned to approximately 8 months of either traditional behavioral couple therapy (TBCT; Jacobson & Margolin, 1979) or integrative behavioral couple therapy (IBCT; Jacobson & Christensen, 1998). Marital status and satisfaction were assessed approximately every 3 months during treatment and every 6 months for 5 years after treatment.

Results: Pre- to posttreatment effect sizes on marital satisfaction were d = 0.90 for IBCT and d = 0.71 for TBCT, which were not significantly different. However, data through 2-year follow-ups revealed statistically significant superiority of IBCT over TBCT in relationship satisfaction, but subsequent data showed increasing similarity and nonsignificant differences in outcome. At 5-year follow-up for marital satisfaction relative to pretreatment, effect sizes were d = 1.03 for IBCT and d = 0.92 for TBCT; 50.0% of IBCT couples and 45.9% of TBCT couples showed clinically significant improvement. Relationship status, obtained on all 134 couples, revealed that 25.7% of IBCT couples and 27.9% of TBCT couples were separated or divorced. These follow-up data compared favorably to other, long-term results of couple therapy.

Conclusion: TBCT and IBCT both produced substantial effect sizes in even seriously and chronically distressed couples. IBCT produced significantly but not dramatically superior outcomes through the first 2 years after treatment termination but without further intervention; outcomes for the 2 treatments converged over longer follow-up periods.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 25 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback