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May 1974

Effects of Assertive Training on Marital Interaction

Author Affiliations

Jackson, Miss
From the Department of Psychology, Veterans Administration Center, and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss (Drs. Eisler, Miller, and Hersen), and the Department of Psychology, Veterans Administration Center (H. Alford).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(5):643-649. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760110065008

The effects of assertive training with passive male patients were evaluated with respect to subsequent changes in interaction with their wives. Three couples were video taped while discussing their marital conflicts before and after husbands received training in assertive expression. Based on the couple's initial interaction, specific behavioral deficits in the husband's responses were identified. In the context of role-played interpersonal encounters, assertive training consisting of instructions, behavior rehearsal, and feedback were administered.

In all three cases, behavioral tests revealed substantial improvement in the husband's assertiveness. In two out of three cases, increased assertiveness produced marked changes in the couple's marital interaction. Training on simulated interactions relevant to the couple's interpersonal difficulties appeared to produce results superior to training on situations unrelated to their problems.

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