Treatment of wife abuse: A comparison of gender-specific and conjoint approaches

K. Daniel O'Leary, Richard E. Heyman, Peter H. Neidig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Seventy-five intact, volunteer couples were assigned to either a gender- specific or a conjoint 14-week group treatment for psychological and physical aggression. Participants from both treatments significantly reduced their psychological and physical aggression, at both posttreatment and 1-year follow-up. During treatment, husbands reduced their psychological aggression by 47%, their moderate physical aggression by 55%, and their severe physical aggression by 51%. Although two-thirds of the husbands maintained cessation of severe aggression during the year following treatment, only one-fourth of the husbands were violence-free. Very similar cessation and maintenance rates were obtained for wives. Significant improvements at posttreatment and follow-up were also found for both spouses' marital adjustment, husbands' taking responsibility for aggression, and wives' depression. No differential effect of treatment type was found, except that, as predicted, husbands in conjoint treatment improved more on marital adjustment. Neither form of treatment was superior to the other in terms of safety and effectiveness for volunteer, intact, and physically aggressive couples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-505
Number of pages31
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Treatment of wife abuse: A comparison of gender-specific and conjoint approaches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this