Prevention Science

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 227–239 | Cite as

Mechanisms of Change in a Cognitive Behavioral Couples Prevention Program: Does Being Naughty or Nice Matter?

  • Scott M. Stanley
  • Galena K. Rhoades
  • P. Antonio Olmos-Gallo
  • Howard J. Markman


Although there is a body of evidence suggesting beneficial effects of premarital prevention, little research directly examines the mechanisms of effect. One study that examined changes in communication following training in the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) found that, although couples made the expected communication gains pre to post PREP, female gains in positive communication were paradoxically associated with worse, not better, outcomes (Schilling et al., J. Fam. Psychol. 17(1):41–53, 2003). Using two samples, the current investigation did not yield evidence of such an association. We discuss issues related to replication studies (e.g., failure to reject null hypotheses), challenges in analyzing and interpreting dyadic data, and implications for prevention.


Prevention Marriage Communication Couples 



We thank the anonymous reviewers for their excellent questions and comments. This research was supported by two grants from The National Institutes of Health: 1RO1HD48780-1A1 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and 5-RO1-MH35525-12 from The National Institute of Mental Health.


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott M. Stanley
    • 1
  • Galena K. Rhoades
    • 1
  • P. Antonio Olmos-Gallo
    • 1
  • Howard J. Markman
    • 1
  1. 1.The Center for Marital and Family Studies, Department of PsychologyUniversity of DenverDenverUSA

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