Strength at Home Couples program to prevent military partner violence: A randomized controlled trial

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2016 Nov;84(11):935-945. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000129. Epub 2016 Sep 5.


Objective: We evaluated the efficacy of Strength at Home Couples, a cognitive-behavioral trauma-informed intimate partner violence (IPV) preventive intervention for married or partnered military service members or veterans. No prior randomized controlled trial had supported the efficacy of such an intervention in this population.

Method: Participants included 69 male service members or veterans and their female partners. Recruitment was conducted from February 2010 through August 2013, and participation occurred within 2 Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals. All couples completed an initial assessment including diagnostic interviews and measures of physical and psychological IPV and were randomized by cohort to a supportive prevention couples group or Strength at Home Couples. All couples were reassessed at postintervention and at 6 and 12 months follow-ups.

Results: Both service members or veterans and their female partners engaged in fewer acts of reported physical and psychological IPV in the Strength at Home Couples condition relative to supportive prevention, and relative risk of physical violence was lower for both members of the dyad in Strength at Home Couples at follow-up assessments (male service member or veteran IPV relative risk [RR] = .53; female IPV RR = .43). Those in Strength at Home Couples evidenced significantly greater program completion than did those in supportive prevention (RR = 1.73; 95% confidence interval [1.00, 2.99]). Exploratory analyses did not find differences between groups on relationship satisfaction.

Conclusion: Results provide support for the efficacy of Strength at Home Couples in preventing physical IPV and reducing psychological IPV. These results have important implications for preventing violence and associated physical and mental health problems.

Clinical trials registration: Trial Registry Name: Strength at Home Couples Program; Registration Number: NCT00827879; URL: (PsycINFO Database Record

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Couples Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Home Care Services
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Veterans / psychology*

Associated data