Aggression | Strength at Home Couples Program (PTSD-Focused Relationship Enhancement Therapy for Returning Veterans)
Aggression research study
What is the primary objective of this study?
The purpose of the project is to develop and test a couples-based relationship enhancement group intervention for married or partnered Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/Operation New Dawn (OND) veterans to prevent the perpetration of intimate partner aggression (IPA) among participants.
Who is eligible to participate?
Inclusion Criteria: - couples must have been in a committed relationship for at least six months - veterans and their partners must be over the age of 18 - male members of the couple report no occurrence of physical aggression during the last six months in their current relationship on the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS2; Straus et al, 1996) - female members of the couple may report that they have engaged in low level aggression during the past six months in their current relationship on the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS2; Straus et al., 1996) - one partner of the couple averages at or below a score of 29 on the 6-item Quality of Marriage Index (QMI; Norton, 1983) or a 100 or below on the Dyadic Adjustment Score (DAS; Spanier, 1976), which are cutoff scores often used to distinguish distressed and non-distressed couples (e.g., Slep, Heyman, Williams, Van Dyke, Murphy ) - both members of the couple provide research consent Exclusion Criteria: - reading difficulties prevent valid completion of the assessment instruments - the participant evidences severe organicity or active psychosis - the participant expresses prominent suicidal or homicidal ideation - the participant meets diagnostic criteria for alcohol and/or drug dependence, if not in early full remission or sustained partial remission - female members of the couple report their violence includes the use of weapons during the past six months in their current relationship on the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS2; Straus et al., 1996) - violence perpetrated by female members of the couple produces injuries in men - male members of the couple indicate they are fearful of the female partner - male members of the couple report they are physically violent in any way during the past six months or severely violent in the past 12 months of their current relationship on the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS2; Straus et al., 1996) - male members of the couple have had any bruising or injuries inflicted by the female partner during the past six months in their current relationship. Criteria b through d will be assessed using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI; Sheehan et al., 1998) and clinical interview
Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorders
Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.
Behavioral:Strength at Home Couples GroupA multiple site randomized trial will compare 10 sessions of PF-RET to 10 sessions of a supportive group therapy. PF-RET focuses on 1) deployment stress and traumatic experiences impacting intimate relationships; 2) communication between intimate partners; 3) conflict and anger management; and 4) closeness and intimacy.
Behavioral:Supportive Group TherapyA general support group designed to enhance support for healthy relationship building.
Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.
Strength at Home Couples GroupPTSD-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Couples
Supportive Group TherapySupportive therapy for couples
Start Date: February 2009
Completed Date: October 2014
Primary Outcome: Evidence of change in incidence and frequency of intimate partner physical assault and psychological aggression assessed by questionnaires and clinical interviews.
Secondary Outcome: Evidence of change in risk factors (i.e. PTSD symptoms, anger, relationship satisfaction) implicated in the development of IPA assessed by questionnaires, clinical interviews, and psychophysiological measurements.
Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references
Principal Investigator: Casey T Taft, Ph.D.
Lead Sponsor: Boston VA Research Institute, Inc.
Collaborator: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Norton, R. (1983). Measuring marital quality: A critical look at the dependent variable. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 45, 141-151.