marital communication; communication skills training; speaker-listener technique; quantitative research




This study experimentally examines the speaker-listener technique on marital satisfaction and communication behaviors when couples (N = 30) were instructed to either discuss an issue within or outside the marriage on marital satisfaction and communication behaviors. This study was based the Gottman et al. hypothesis that the speaker-listener technique would lead to improved marital satisfaction when the couple is discussing a third-party issue, but discussing an issue about each other would weaken the marital relationship. A series of analyses of covariance were conducted on these data, and no differences were found between the two groups on their self-reported marital satisfaction or communication skills behaviors, which were not support the Gottman et al. hypothesis. Possible interpretations of these data and areas for further investigation are suggested.


Original Citation: Cornelius, Tara L., Galen Alessi, and Ryan C. Shorey. "The Effectiveness of Communication Skills Training With Married Couples: Does the Issue Discussed Matter?" The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families 15, no. 2 (2007): 124-132.

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