Relationship Therapy

Project Title:  Examining the Efficacy of Imago Relationship Therapy on Relationship Health

 Principal Investigator:  Dr. Amy Hackney (Department of Psychology)
Co-Investigators:  Dr. Janice Steirn (Psychology), Dr. Mike Nielsen (Psychology), and Dr. Andrew Hansen (Public Health)



Romantic relationship quality is one of the most important social factors related to mental and physical health (Myers, 2000). Romantic relationship quality, however, consistently declines over time (Glenn, 1998).  The goal of this collaborative, interdisciplinary research project between researchers in psychology and public health is to experimentally test the efficacy of Imago Relationship therapy on relationship health.  Jakubowski and colleagues (2004) argue that the movement toward empirically supported treatments (EST) allows the effectiveness of marriage enrichment programs to be better evaluated. In a review of marriage enrichment programs, Jakubowski and colleagues (2004) suggested evaluation guidelines.  A program is considered efficacious (E) when the program is backed by two separate studies that contain control groups, random assignment, and were published by two separate research teams. A program is considered possibly efficacious (PE) if the program has been supported by one study with random assignment and control groups or when the program has been supported by multiple controlled studies but conducted by the same researcher. Lastly, enrichment programs supported by some data, none of which comes from randomized controlled studies, are considered empirically untested (EU). Under these guidelines, Jakubowski et al. categorized Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) as empirically untested.  The purpose of the current research is to conduct the first randomized control study of IRT in a sample of couples from rural Southeast Georgia.

Last updated: 9/26/2014

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