The Durability of Support Focused Marital Therapy




Chambers, Jennifer

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This dissertation investigated the long-term efficacy of Support Focused Marital Therapy. This study analyzed the six month follow-up data collected from couples who completed the 12 session intervention. In addition to analyzing changes in couple's martial satisfaction and psychological distress, the study also investigated the characteristics of couples who would most benefit from this intervention. The results of the study suggest that couples who participated in this intervention did not experience significant declines in martial satisfaction from post-treatment to follow-up and were able to maintain some of the improvements they experienced during the course of the intervention. Effect sizes for martial satisfaction were similar to other marital therapy modalities and couples experienced reliable and clinically significant change at levels slightly less than other modalities. Participants also experienced decreased anger and psychological distress from pre-treatment to follow-up This study determined that the number of years the couple dated and the presence of children in the home were correlated with increased marital satisfaction at follow-up. Therapeutic alliance was not correlated with increased marital satisfaction. None of the demographic or personal variables investigated reliably separated those who responded well to SFMT and those who did not. This thesis continues the process of validating Support Focused Marital Therapy as an effective tool for improving marriages.



Marital therapy, Outcome, Predictors