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Enhancement of Couples' Communication and Dyadic Coping by a Self-Directed Approach: A Randomized Controlled Trial


Bodenmann, Guy; Hilpert, Peter; Nussbeck, Fridtjof W; Bradbury, Thomas N (2014). Enhancement of Couples' Communication and Dyadic Coping by a Self-Directed Approach: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology , 82(4):580-591.

Abstract

Although prevention of relationship distress and dissolution has potential to strengthen the well-being of partners and any children they are raising, dissemination of prevention programs can be limited because couples face many barriers to in-person participation. An alternative strategy, providing couples with an instructional DVD, is tested in the present study, in which 330 Caucasian couples (N = 660 participants; mean age: men 41.4 years, women 40.0 years) were randomly assigned to a DVD group without any further support, a DVD group with technical telephone coaching, or a wait-list control group. Couples completed questionnaires at pretest, posttest, and 3 and 6 months after completion of the intervention. Self-report measures of dyadic coping, communication quality, ineffective arguing, and relationship satisfaction were used to test whether the intervention groups improved in comparison with the control group. Women in both intervention groups increased in dyadic coping, reduced conflict behavior, and were more satisfied with their relationship 6 months after the intervention. Effects for men were mixed. Participants with poorer skills reported stronger improvement. Intimate relationships can, within limits, be positively influenced by a self-directed approach. Effective dissemination of principles underlying successful relationships can be facilitated through the use of emerging low-cost tools and technologies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

Abstract

Although prevention of relationship distress and dissolution has potential to strengthen the well-being of partners and any children they are raising, dissemination of prevention programs can be limited because couples face many barriers to in-person participation. An alternative strategy, providing couples with an instructional DVD, is tested in the present study, in which 330 Caucasian couples (N = 660 participants; mean age: men 41.4 years, women 40.0 years) were randomly assigned to a DVD group without any further support, a DVD group with technical telephone coaching, or a wait-list control group. Couples completed questionnaires at pretest, posttest, and 3 and 6 months after completion of the intervention. Self-report measures of dyadic coping, communication quality, ineffective arguing, and relationship satisfaction were used to test whether the intervention groups improved in comparison with the control group. Women in both intervention groups increased in dyadic coping, reduced conflict behavior, and were more satisfied with their relationship 6 months after the intervention. Effects for men were mixed. Participants with poorer skills reported stronger improvement. Intimate relationships can, within limits, be positively influenced by a self-directed approach. Effective dissemination of principles underlying successful relationships can be facilitated through the use of emerging low-cost tools and technologies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

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7 citations in Web of Science®
9 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Psychotherapeutisches Zentrum des Psychologischen Instituts UZH
Language:English
Date:March 2014
Deposited On:04 Jun 2014 11:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:54
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0022-006X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/a0036356
PubMed ID:24660673

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