Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology








The focus of the current study was to identity mental health, relationship factors, substance use related problems, and individual factors as predictors of couples-based substance abuse treatment initiation and attendance. Heterosexual couples with children that met study criteria were invited to attend 12 sessions of outpatient behavioral couples therapy. Men were more likely to initiate treatment if they had a higher income, had greater relationship satisfaction, were initiating treatment for alcohol use disorder only, were younger when they first suspected a problem, and had higher depression but lower hostility or phobic anxiety. Men attended more treatment sessions if they reported less intimate partner victimization, if they sought treatment for both alcohol and drug use disorder, if they were older when they first suspected a substance use problem, and if they were more obsessive–compulsive, more phobic anxious, less hostile, and experienced less somatization and less paranoid ideation. For women, treatment initiation was associated with less cohesion in their relationships, more somatization, and being older when they first suspected an alcohol or drug use problem. Trends were observed between women’s treatment retention and being older, experiencing more somatization, and suspecting drug-related problems when they were younger; however, no predictors reached statistical significance for women. Results suggest that different factors may be associated with men and women’s willingness to initiate and attend conjoint treatment for substance abuse. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved.

Original Publication Citation

Braitman, A. L., & Kelley, M. L. (2016). Initiation and retention in couples outpatient treatment for parents with drug and alcohol use disorders. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 24(3), 174-184. doi:10.1037/pha0000072


0000-0003-2259-1094 (Braitman)