105 Marriage & Training

Based on research by Rogge et al, 2013. Written by Kyle Piecora, M.S..

Can psychological intervention help the alarming rate of divorce in our country?

Dr. Ron Rogge, compared ways of helping couples in their relationships. Newlywed and engaged couples were assigned to one of four groups:

  1. Not able to attend treatment.
  2. Conflict Resolution (teaching couples problem solving, and conflict resolution skills).
  3. Caring Skills group (encouraging couples to accept their differences, learn empathy and show caring)
  4. A simple relationship awareness group.  Some professionals think couples already have basic relationship skills and only need awareness of the relationship’s importance and the need to preserve it.

Couples completed measures about their relationship at 6 months, 1, 2, and 3 years after treatment.  Those not receiving treatment terminated relationships more than those in all treatments, but this may be misleading, as they did not make time to attend a class in the first place.  Paradoxically, the wives in the Conflict Resolution group showed slower declines in hostile conflict, while couples in the Caring group showed faster declines in positive behaviors!  Though all Treatment groups led to fewer relationships ending over 3 years, those who focused on awareness of their relationship’s importance and its maintenance were equally well off.

You can act to prevent endings, remember the need to enhance and value your relationship.


Rogge, R. D., Cobb, R.J., Lawrence, E., Johnson, M. D., & Bradbury, T. N.  Is skills training necessary for the primary prevention of marital distress and dissolution?  A 3-year experimental study of three interventions.  Journal of Counseling and Clinical, Vol 81(6), Dec 2013, 949-961.

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