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J Marital Fam Ther. 2004 Jul;30(3):305-18.

Treating intimate partner violence within intact couple relationships: outcomes of multi-couple versus individual couple therapy.

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Human Development Department, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Northern Virginia Center, Falls Church 20043, USA.


An experimental design was used to determine outcomes of a domestic violence-focused treatment program for couples that choose to stay together after mild-to-moderate violence has occurred. Forty-two couples were randomly assigned to either individual couple or multi-couple group treatment. Nine couples served as the comparison group. Male violence recidivism rates 6 months after treatment were significantly lower for the multi-couple group (25%) than for the comparison group (66%). In contrast, men in the individual couple condition were not significantly less likely to recidivate (43%) than those in the comparison group. In addition, marital satisfaction increased significantly, and both marital aggression and acceptance of wife battering decreased significantly among individuals who participated in multi-couple group therapy, but not among those who participated in individual couple therapy or the comparison group.

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