ERIC Number: ED262302
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Marital Relationships of Alcoholic, Conflicted, and Nonconflicted Couples.
O'Farrell, Timothy J.; Birchler, Gary R.
Understanding characteristics specific to alcoholics' marriages could help therapists to more effectively address the needs of alcoholic clients. To identify some of these characteristics, 26 married couples with an alcoholic husband (ALC) were compared with 26 maritally-conficted (MC) and 26 nonconflicted (NC) couples without alcohol problems. All couples completed the Marital Adjustment Test, the Marital Status Inventory, and the Areas of Change Questionnaire. Couples were videotaped for 10 minutes while discussing a current marriage problem, and tapes were rated using the Marital Interaction Coding System. In addition, MC couples completed a Problem Areas Questionnaire; ALC husbands completed the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST) and a portable breath test; and NC wives completed the MAST about the husband's drinking to assure that the husband had no drinking problem. The results indicated that ALC couples resembled MC couples and both showed greater relationship distress than NC couples in the areas of marital stability, change desired, and percent of positive communication behaviors. Although findings were not very supportive of the prediction that ALC couples would show characteristics unique to ALC's, ALC husbands reported fewer desires for change in the relationship, greater marital satisfaction, and less awareness of partner-desired changes than did ALC wives, suggesting that the ALC husbands held positively-biased perceptions of their marriages. (Three data tables and four figures are included.) (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Veterans Administration Hospital, Brockton, MA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (93rd, Los Angeles, CA, August 23-27, 1985).