The efficacy of a compact psychoeducational group training program for married couples

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1998 Oct;66(5):753-60. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.66.5.753.


There is a lack of psychoeducational programs for married couples who, although subjectively concerned about their marriages, do not seek marital therapy. In this study, the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral program delivered on a weekend by 2 trainers for groups of 4 couples was investigated. Couples (n = 67) were recruited by newspaper announcements, then randomly assigned to the intervention program or a waiting-list control group. The program consisted of communication and problem-solving training, couples' discussions to clarify their relationship expectations, and exercises to enhance their sensual or sexual relationship. At postassessment, intervention couples emitted more positive verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors during a conflict discussion task than did control couples, who reported significantly more relationship problem areas and displayed more negative communication behaviors. At the 1-year follow-up, intervention couples reported fewer problem areas in comparison with preassessment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Family Health*
  • Female
  • Health Education / standards*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Spouses* / education
  • Spouses* / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome