A meta-analytic update of research on the couple communication program


couple communication, Couple Communication program, training, meta-analysis


The Couple Communication (CC) program is a communication skills training program that uses brief didactic presentations, directed practice or role playing, and homework exercises. Skills include self-awareness, speaking skills, listening skills, conflict resolution skills, and styles of communication. This study is a meta-analysis of 16 recent CC studies. Outcome measures were classified as observational or attitudinal, and attitudinal measures were further grouped into measures of marital satisfaction, communication skills, or other relationship qualities. Meaningful effect sizes (ES) were observed for CC training on all types of measures, indicating clinically relevant positive outcomes for CC training. ES of observational measures of communications outcomes were greater than ES for attitudinal measures. CC training appears to be effective in improving communication but not substantially more effective than other communication training programs. Communication gains deteriorated substantially by follow-up. Combined current and previous meta-analyses suggest that CC training leads to observed improvements in couple communication together with moderate couple-perceived changes.

Original Publication Citation

Butler, M. H., & Wampler, K. S. (1999). A meta-analytic update of research on the Couple Communication program. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 27(3), 223-237.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL



The American Journal of Family Therapy




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor