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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2002 Apr;70(2):344-55.

Behavioral couples therapy for female substance-abusing patients: effects on substance use and relationship adjustment.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA.


Married or cohabiting female drug-abusing patients (N = 75) were randomly assigned to either a behavioral couples therapy condition (BCT; n = 37), which consisted of group, individual, and behavioral couples therapy sessions, or to an equally intensive individual-based treatment condition (IBT; n = 38), which consisted of group and individual counseling. During most of the 1-year follow-up, compared with participants who received IBT, those who received BCT reported (a) fewer days of substance use, (b) longer periods of continuous abstinence, (c) lower levels of alcohol, drug, and family problems, and (d) higher relationship satisfaction. However, differences in relationship satisfaction and number of days of substance use dissipated over the course of the posttreatment follow-up period and were not significantly different by the end of 1 year.

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