Section 51
Chapter 50,981

Who's dragging their feet? Husbands and wives seeking marital therapy

Doss, B.D.; Atkins, D.C.; Christensen, A.

Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 29(2): 165-177


ISSN/ISBN: 0194-472X
PMID: 12728776
DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2003.tb01198.x
Accession: 050980042

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Despite its demonstrated efficacy, marital therapy's impact has been limited by couples' general reluctance to seek help until their problems become severe. To understand this delay, 147 married couples (294 individuals) in the process of seeking marital therapy were surveyed. Using multilevel confirmatory factor analysis, three relatively independent steps (problem recognition, treatment consideration, and treatment seeking) were identified. On average, wives were rated as completing all three steps before their husbands. Gender-role orientation, demographics, relationship satisfaction, and specific relationship problems (especially husbands' dissatisfaction with sex) were also predictive of the steps toward therapy. Implications for marital therapy are discussed.

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