Emotionally focused marital intervention for couples with chronically ill children

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996 Oct;64(5):1029-36. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.64.5.1029.


Couples with chronically ill children are at risk for experiencing marital stress. The present study was a randomized control trial that assessed the efficacy of emotionally focused therapy (EFT) in decreasing marital distress in this population of couples. Thirty-two couples with chronically ill children seen at a tertiary care pediatric hospital were randomly assigned to EFT or to a waitlist control group. EFT couples demonstrated significant decreases in marital distress at posttreatment and at a 5-month follow-up in comparison to controls. Clinical improvements in marital functioning following EFT were also demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease / psychology*
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Therapy / methods*
  • Marriage / psychology
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Personality Assessment