A Study of Effectiveness of Cognitive Couple Therapy On Increasing Marital Adjustment in Married Students

Document Type : Original


1 MA in Family Counseling, University of Kharazmi, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Counseling, University of Kharazmi, Tehran, Iran


Purpose: The purpose of the present research was studying the effectiveness of Cognitive Couple Therapy in increasing martial adjustment among married students.
Methods: The research was an experimental one with a pre- test, post– test and a control group design. The research population consisted of all married students of Islamic Azad University – Islamshar branch in 89-90 academic years. The initial sample consisted of 100 couples who selected through multistage cluster sampling. Then, among those who scored lower than from the sample mean in the research instrument (Dyadic Adjustment), 32 person (16 couples) selected and randomly assigned into two groups (8 couples in experimental group and 8 couples in control group). After administering pretest, experimental group received 8 sessions Cognitive Couple Therapy and control group didn’t receive any intervention. At the end of sessions, posttest was administered and the data was analyzed by ANCOVA.
Findings: Results showed that compared to control, total marital adjustment in the experimental group significantly increased. In addition, compared to control, dyadic satisfaction, dyadic cohesion, dyadic consensus, and affectional expression in the experimental group significantly increased )<0/05).
Conclusion: Based on results, it can be concluded that Cognitive Couple Therapy can be used effectively to promote marital adjustment and its dimensions.


Baucom, D. M., Shoma, V.,  Mueser, K. T., Dauto, A. D., & Stickle, T. R. (1998). Empirically Supported Couple and Family Interventions for Marital Distress and Adult Mental Health Problem, Journal of Consulting andClinical Psychology, 66:53-88.
Baucom, D. H., & Epstein, N. (1990). Cognitive- Behavioral marital therapy. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
Baucom, D. H., Epstein, N., & Kirby, J. S. (2010). Cognitive-B behavioral Couple Therapy. In Keith S. Dobson (Ed). Handbook of cognitive therapies (3th ed., pp. 411–444).
Beck, A. T (1976). Cognitive therapy and emotional disorders. New York: New American Library.
Beck, R. & Fernandz, E. (1998). Cognitive-behavior therapy in the treatment of anger: Ameta-analysis, cognitive therapy and research, 22, 63-74.
Black, J. S., & Stephens, G. K. (1989). The influence of the spouse on American expatriate adjustment in overseas assignments. Journal of Management, 15, 529-544.
­Clark, D. M., Salkovskis, P. M., Hackmann, A., Middelton, H., Anastasiades, P., & Gelder, M. (1994). A comparison of cognitive therapy, Applied relaxation and imp amine in treatment to panic disorder. The British Journal of psychiatry, 164, 759-769.
Clark, D. M., & Ehlers, A. (1993). An overview of the cognitive theory and treatment of panic disorder. Applied and preventive psychology, 2, 131-139
­Clayton, R. (1978). The family, marriage and social change. Toronto: Heath and Co.
Corey, G. (2005). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. Pacific Grove: Brooks / cole.
Dattilio, F. M. (1993). Cognitive techniques with couples and families. The Family Journal, 1(1), 51-65.
Dattilio, F. M. & Epstein N.B. (2005). Introduction to the Special Section: The Role of Cognitive Behavioral Interventions in Couple and Family Therapy, Journal Marital and Family Therapy, 31 (10), 7-14.
­Dattilio, F. M. (2010). Cognitive-behavioral therapy with couples and families: a comprehensive guide. New York: Guilford Press.
­Dimkapa, I.D. (2010).Martial adjustment roles of couples practicing child adoption. European journal of social sciences, 13(2), 194-200.
Epstein, N., & Baucom, D. H. (2002). Enhanced cognitive-behavioral therapy for couples: A contextual approach. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Fincham, F. D., Bradbury, T. N., & Scott, C. K. (1990). Cognition in marriage. In F. D. Fincham & T. N. Bradbury (Eds.), The psychology of marriage: Basic issues and applications (pp. 118–149). New York: Guilford Press.
Free, M. L. (2007). Cognitive therapy in groups: Guidelines and resources for practice. New Jersey: Johan Wiley & sons.
Gottman, J. M. (1994). What predicts divorce? Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Jacobson, N. S., Waldron, H., & Moore, D. (1980). Toward a behavioral profile of marital distress. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 48(6), 696–703.
Joshi, S. & Thingujam, N.S. (2009). Perceived emotional intelligence and marital adjustment: examining the mediating role of personality and social desirability. Journal of Indian academy of applied psychology, 35(1), 79-86.
Lam, D. H., Hayward, P., Watkins, E. R., Wright, K., Sham, P. (2005). Outcome of a two-year follow-up of cognitive therapy of relapse prevention in bipolar disorder. American journal of psychiatry. 162(2), 324-329.
Lam, D.H., Watkins, E. R., Hayward, P., Bright, J., Wright, K., Kerr, N., Parr-Davis, G., & Sham, P. (2003) A randomized controlled study of cognitive therapy for relapse prevention for bipolar affective disorder. Archives of general psychiatry, 60(2), 145-152.
Obasa, J. (1990). Work commitment, marriage role expectations and martial adjustment of married men and woman in Kwara state. Unpublished Ph. D thesis, university of ILorin, Nigeria.
Prochaska, J. O & Norcross, J. C. (2007). Systems of psychotherapy: A trans theoretical analysis. Belmont: Thomson & Brooks / cole.
Pruchno, R. M; Wilson – Genderson, F. P & Cartwright, R. (2009). Depressive symptoms and marital satisfaction in the context of chronic disease. Journal of family psychology, 23(4), 573-584.
Sharf, R. S. (2000). Theories of psychotherapy and counseling: concept and cases. Pacific Grove: Brooks / cole.
Shi, L (2001). Hamong students personal adjustment in American culture. Unpublished master's thesis, The graduate school university of Wisconsin-stout.
Teasdale, J. D. & Fennell, M, J. V (1982). Immediate effects on depression of cognitive therapy interventions. Cognitive therapy and research, 6(3), 343-352.
Thomas, E. J. (1977). Martial communication and decision making. New York: Free press.
Nichols, M. P. & Schwartz, R. C., (2003). Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods, Boston, MA, Allyn and Bacon.
Dattilio, F. M. (2005b). Restructuring family schemas: A cognitive-behavioral perspective. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 31(1), 15–30.