John M. Gottman

John M. Gottman
THE GOTTMAN INSTITUTE

About

241
Publications
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Publications

Publications (241)
Article
We currently have little idea of precisely who goes for couples therapy. This is a report of the results of a validated online assessment of relationship and individual functioning based on 39,251 heterosexual, 1,022 lesbian, and 438 gay couples about to begin couples therapy. Using validated and reliable questionnaires of relationship and individu...
Article
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The present study was designed to revise a previous measure of the “Negative Comparisons for Alternative Relationships” Scale originally developed by Rusbult and her colleagues. Rusbult’s research of her investment model of commitment is the only research that has ever been successful at predicting sexual infidelity among heterosexual couples. The...
Article
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The goal of the present research was to test the efficacy of the Bringing Baby Home couple-focused psychoeducational program for promoting father involvement and related satisfaction. A randomized clinical trial design was used to randomly assign 136 pregnant couples to either an intervention or control group. Father involvement post-intervention w...
Chapter
For over 45 years, Gottman, Levenson, and their associates have been utilizing observational methods and longitudinal studies to determine the factors that make up successful romantic relationships between two partners (REFS). While the early efforts of this endeavor relied on time series and other standard methods of statistical analyses, it was t...
Article
The results of an uncontrolled study of Gottman Method Couples Therapy in changing relationship satisfaction with 106 gay and lesbian couples is reported in this paper. Measurement of relationship satisfaction was conducted at five separate time points. The data show significant improvements in relationship satisfaction following eleven sessions of...
Article
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Little is known about how situationally violent (SV) couples differ from both characterologically violent (CV) and distressed, non-violent (DNV) couples in terms of their displayed affective behaviors during conflict. This study addressed this question by conducting secondary data analysis of two datasets (Jacobson and Gottman 1998 and Bradley et a...
Article
This study examined couples' (N = 94) behavior resulting from two proximal change interventions. One was a spousal "compliments intervention" to increase positivity, and the other was a "criticize intervention" to increase negativity. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the two intervention conditions or a control group. There was no main...
Article
In this Original Voices article we summarize the past four and a half decades of our work on relationship stability and happiness and explore the theoretical implications of that empirical research. First, we briefly review the laboratory research, clinical work, and the mathematics used to understand our results and build our theory. Then we descr...
Article
Full-text available
Conflict among couples was examined following a transition to parenthood intervention to determine both short-term efficacy of the program and elucidate the process of change postintervention. A randomized clinical trial design was used to examine conflict in couples who participated in a transition to parenthood psycho-educational workshop compare...
Article
A new observational coding system was designed to study how newlywed couples naturally attempt to repair negativity during marital conflict. The patterns of both attack during conflict and repair over time were examined. Criteria for the effectiveness of repair attempts were (1) reducing negative affect or (2) increasing positive affect during conf...
Article
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Intensive longitudinal data provide rich information, which is best captured when specialized models are used in the analysis. One of these models is the multilevel autoregressive model, which psychologists have applied successfully to study affect regulation as well as alcohol use. A limitation of this model is that the autoregressive parameter is...
Article
This work evaluated a psycho-educational, group-based, conjoint treatment for couples experiencing intimate partner violence characterized by mutual low-level physical violence and psychological aggression. The ability of the treatment program to reduce violence between partners was evaluated via a multi-method, multi-informant, multiple time point...
Article
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This study tested moderators of treatment outcome of the ‘Art and Science of Love (ASL) Workshop’, a couples' group psycho-educational intervention with 80 distressed married couples. Couples were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: (1) friendship enhancement alone, (2) conflict management alone, (3) combined friendship enhancement + confl...
Article
This work shows the marital relationship to be a complex system in which the movement of marital interaction to predictable points in that system represents the emergence of order. In this chapter, the authors present two methods for describing this system. First, they present an empirically based theory, the Sound Marital House theory, which descr...
Article
This work evaluated a psycho-educational intervention designed to reduce intimate partner violence (IPV) in low-income situationally violent couples. The primary objective was to evaluate the mechanism through which violence was reduced. It was hypothesized that IPV would be reduced via use of therapeutic skills taught during the intervention (i.e....
Article
Mathematical models, such as the one developed by Gottman et al. (1998, 2000, 2002) to understand the interaction between husbands and wives, can provide novel insights into the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship. A set of nonlinear equations were used to model the changing emotional state of a therapist and client. The results suggest: (1) T...
Article
Full-text available
Given the prevalence and impact of intimate partner violence (IPV) in both community and therapeutic settings, it is vital that the varying typologies of IPV be identified and treated accordingly. The present study sought to evaluate the efficacy of a screening instrument designed to differentiate between characterologically violent, situationally...
Article
Full-text available
The success of psychotherapy depends on the nature of the therapeutic relationship between a therapist and a client. We use dynamical systems theory to model the dynamics of the emotional interaction between a therapist and client. We determine how the therapeutic endpoint and the dynamics of getting there depend on the parameters of the model. Pre...
Chapter
An overview of Gottman Method couples therapy providing assessment and case conceptualization.The treatment process and strategies covers the Middle Phase and Late Phase, and Termination, with Implications for training and supervision and suggestions for clinical supervision
Article
The transition to parenthood brings with it challenges to a couple's relationship, which in turn are likely to negatively impact coparenting and overall family process. The focus of the current study was to examine the effects of the Bringing Baby Home psycho-educational intervention at the first postintervention follow-up for promoting positive co...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers have highlighted the need to evaluate couple and relationship education (CRE) programs designed to strengthen intimate relationships and meet the needs of populations that are most in need, including low-income distressed couples. This study evaluated a psychoeducational intervention designed to bolster...
Article
Gottman and colleagues proposed using a dynamical systems model to study dyadic interaction in marriage. In this model, each spouse's affect in each 6-s window is described as a function of an uninfluenced linear steady state and a nonlinear influence function of the partner's affect in the previous window. Recently, an alternative parameter estima...
Article
Field combat stress clinics and research have identified the signature event that precedes thoughts of suicide and homicide in combat soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan: a distressing personal relationship event with a stateside partner. In response to this alarming information, we have identified critical factors and precipitating incidents as well...
Article
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This report focuses on the role of partners and spouses in the decision-making processes of social service clients. Using survey data, direct observation of couple interactions, and physiological measurement, findings suggest that the decisions of individuals receiving public assistance—married or unmarried—are affected by their partners. If co...
Article
The comprehensive approach of studying nonverbal behavior is exemplified best in observational studies assessing dyadic interaction in intimate relationships, such as between couples and parents with their children. The study of couple and parent-child relationships within the family are important because they are some of the most influential and d...
Chapter
Full-text available
In 1989, Gottman and Krokoff introduced the Specific Af- fect Coding System (SPAFF) for the purpose of systemati- cally observing affective behavior in the context of marital conflict. The original SPAFF conferred a host of advantages over earlier “microanalytic” coding strategies, the primary innovation being the ability to code affect at the cons...
Article
Ultimately, we feel the conclusions that can be drawn from the latest work by Kim et al. must be qualified by the fact that their sample consisted of lower income, at-risk, mixed married and cohabiting couples, as well as the fact that their experimental procedures may have limited the generalizability of their results. We are also somewhat skeptic...
Article
The goal of the present study was to examine the tempo of triadic play in Swedish and American families through a comparison of 20 families from each culture. When infants were approximately 3 months old, families in both cultures participated in the Lausanne Triadic Play (LTP), a paradigm that facilitates the examination of the triad as a whole an...
Article
Full-text available
Marital hostility is linked to the father's rejecting parenting, which predicts children's aggressive peer play; the husband's emotional withdrawal from the marriage is linked to the mother's rejecting parenting, which predicts children's internalizing behavior. Deficits in children's behavioral and physiological regulation of emotion are one mecha...
Article
Fifty newlywed couples participated in a conflict discussion and an unstructured, seminatural interaction. This paper explores the relationship between these two interactions. Two sets of hypotheses were tested. One hypothesis was derived from a traditional, personality theory model that would predict consistency in behavior across the two settings...
Article
Abstract The concept proposed in this paper is a methodological innovation. The concept is that we can now do what might be called “proximal change experiments” with couples. The only objective of these experiments would be to improve the second of two conflict discussions, rather than having to change all aspects of the couple’s relationship for a...
Article
This article reports the results on marriages of a randomized clinical trial for couples experiencing the transition to parenthood. In addition to a control group, there was 1 intervention, a psycho-communicative-educational 2-day couples' workshop. The outcome measures were marital quality, postpartum depression, and expressed hos- tile affect (as...
Article
The mundane and often fleeting moments that a couple experiences in their everyday lives may contribute to the health or deterioration of a relationship by serving as a foundation to major couple events such as conflict discussions and caring days. This study examines the role of playfulness and enthusiasm in everyday life to the use of humor and a...
Article
The main themes of the critique massed by Stan-ley, Bradbury, and Markman (2000) were that we (Gottman, Coan, Carrère, & Swanson, 1998) stat-ed our results too strongly, that these results were based on data analyses that did not fully address the hypotheses being tested, and that the results were based on nonreplicated findings. In particu-lar, St...
Article
A sample of committed gay and lesbian cohabiting couples engaged in two conversations after being apart for at least 8 hours: (a) an events of the day conversation and (b) a conflict resolution conversation. Physiological data were collected during the conversations and a videotape record was made. Couples viewed the videotapes and rated their affe...
Article
Full-text available
Two samples of committed gay and lesbian cohabiting couples and two samples of married couples (couples in which the woman presented the conflict issue to the man, and couples in which the man presented the conflict issue to the woman) engaged in three conversations: (1) an events of the day conversation (after being apart for at least 8 hours), (2...
Article
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This article describes a new mathematical approach for modeling the prediction of divorce or marital stability from marital interaction using nonlinear difference equations. The approach is quite general for modeling social interaction, and can be applied to any time series data generated over time for two individuals. We pursued a balance model in...
Article
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This paper examines children's physiological reactions to stressful parent-child interactions and tests the notion that vagal tone is a physiological index of the ability to regulate emotion. Basal vagal tone and the suppression of vagal tone at age 4-5 were examined as predictors of mother ratings of child's emotion regulation ability at age 8. Tw...
Article
In this article we review the advances made in the 20th century in studying marriages. Progress moved from a self-report, personality-based approach to the study of interaction in the 1950s, following the advent of general systems theory. This shift led, beginning in the 1970s, to the rapid development of marital research using a multimethod approa...
Article
Gottman and Levenson (2002) for the purpose of post hoc speculation, developed a number of ordinary least squares regressions to model the length of marriage of divorcing couples in a 14-year longitudinal study. We believe that our analyses are appropriate for our purpose. We do not agree with DeKay, Greeno, and Houck (2002) that a duration-model a...
Article
This article examines 14-year longitudinal data and attempts to create a post hoc model that uses Time-1 data to "predict" the length of time the marriage will last. The sample consists of the 21 couples (of 79 studied) who divorced over a 14-year period. A two-factor model is proposed. One factor is the amount of unregulated volatile positive and...
Article
This study investigated the effects of spouses' global sentiments (i.e., their marital bonds) on spouses' perceptions of their partners' specific affects. Ninety-six newlywed couples participated in the study. Positive or negative sentiment override was indicated when spouse ratings of specific affects differed from the coding of objective coders....
Article
Full-text available
This book provides the foundation for a scientific theory of marital relations. The authors develop and apply a mathematical model using difference equations, and fulfill the goal to build a mathematical framework for the general system theory of families first suggested by L. von Bertalanffy in the 1960s. The book also presents a complete introduc...
Article
Comments on the J. C. Meehan, A. Holtzworth-Munroe, and K. Herron (2001) failure to replicate the J. M. Gottman et al. (1995) results of 2 different types of batterers, defined by heart rate reactivity: Type 1 men lowered their heart rate from baseline to the high-conflict marital discussion, and Type 2 men increased their heart rate from baseline...
Article
Comments on the J. C. Meehan, A. Holtzworth-Munroe, and K. Herron (2001) failure to replicate the J. M. Gottman et al. (1995) results of 2 different types of batterers, defined by heart rate reactivity: Type 1 men lowered their heart rate from baseline to the high-conflict marital discussion, and Type 2 men increased their heart rate from baseline...
Chapter
Potential detrimental consequences of marital dissolution on the development of children and suggested safeguards are the motivating ideas of this chapter. With the assumption that children cannot or are not expected to absorb fully and cope positively with complex events and shocks in the family such as termination of the marital bond, then coping...
Article
Following a brief overview of the history of the study of relationships and marital problems, the author challenges the widespread conclusion from prior research that partners in a distressed marriage are simply more negative toward one another than partners in non-distressed relationships (as well as the implication that it is sufficient to encour...
Article
Full-text available
A sample of 79 married couples were studied in 1983 in our laboratory engaging in a marital conflict discussion. Their facial expressions were coded from video tape using the Ekman and Friesen (1978) Emotion Facial Affect Coding System. This article describes the validity of this coding in several measurement domains: (a) the couple's perception of...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to investigate behavioral differences among nonviolent, unhappily married husbands and violent husbands with different attachment classifications on the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI; Main and Goldwyn, 1994). Twenty-three Domestically Violent (DV) husbands and 13 maritally distressed but non-violent (DNV) husbands we...
Article
This article reviews the advances made in the decade of the 1990s in observing marital interaction. Many technological advances in data collection, including synchronization of physiology, behavior, and cognition, and advances in data analysis such as sequential analysis, have yielded new understanding and advances in prediction of marital outcomes...
Article
Full-text available
A. Holtzworth-Munroe and G. L. Stuart (1994) proposed a tripartite typology of men who batter their female partners based on the severity of violence, extent of violence, and personality disorder characteristics. The current study attempts to empirically validate this typology using data from 75 domestically violent (DV) men and their partners, and...
Article
This paper investigates the predictability of divorce in a long-term, prospective longitudinal study. Past research has indicated that 2 periods can be considered the most critical for the survival of marriages: (a) the first 7 years of marriage, during which half of all divorces are known to occur, and (b) the period during which the first child r...
Article
Doing research with Neil Jacobson was an adventure at all levels--imaginative, playful, scientific, and political. Neil managed to integrate it all. Always comfortable with large groups of scientists, he led movements using his own realizations. Our study, entitled Affect, verbal content, and psychophysiology in the arguments of couples with a viol...
Article
Full-text available
Posted 06/02/2000. This reprinted article originally appeared in (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1994, Vol 62[5], 982–988). (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 1995-09810-001.) Studied the affect, psychophysiology, and verbal content of arguments in couples with a violent husband. On the basis of self-...
Article
Posted 06/02/2000. This reprinted article originally appeared in (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1994, Vol 62[5], 982–988). (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 1995-09810-001.) Studied the affect, psychophysiology, and verbal content of arguments in couples with a violent husband. On the basis of self-...
Article
Full-text available
A longitudinal study with 95 newlywed couples examined the power of the Oral History Interview to predict stable marital relationships and divorce. A principal-components analysis of the interview with the couples (Time 1) identified a latent variable, perceived marital bond, that was significant in predicting which couples would remain married or...
Article
This longitudinal study identified factors of couples' marital friendship in the beginning months of marriage that predicted stability versus decline in marital satisfaction over the transition to parenthood. Newlywed couples (N = 130) were followed longitudinally for 6 years. Forty-three couples because parents, and 39 childless couples served as...
Article
This study examined the relationship between demand-withdraw interaction and battering in couples with a violent husband. The authors compared the interaction patterns of 47 couples with a violent husband with the interaction patterns of 28 distressed but nonviolent couples and 16 happily married nonviolent couples. All couples engaged in videotape...
Conference Paper
This study examined the relationship between demand-withdraw interaction and battering in couples with a violent husband. The authors compared the interaction patterns of 47 couples with a violent husband with the interaction patterns of 28 distressed but nonviolent couples and 16 happily married nonviolent couples. All couples engaged in videotape...
Article
Marital interaction has primarily been examined in the context of conflict resolution. This study investigated the predictive ability of couples to rebound from marital conflict in a subsequent positive conversation. Results showed that there was a great deal of consistency in affect across both conversations. Also examined was the ability of affec...
Article
Previous investigations have noted that: (1) women have been noted to typically start most of the marital conflict discussions in laboratories that use observational methods, (2) the way conflict discussions start is also critical in predicting both their outcome and the longitudinal course of marriages, and (3) in distressed marriages there is a w...
Article
The investigation of subtypes of violent men could provide invaluable information to researchers and clinicians. In earlier studies, investigators examined whether subtypes of male batterers could be identified based on physiological markers in combination with observational and self-report perspectives. In a sample of batterers and their wives, th...
Article
This is a report on what predicts the deterioration of affective marital interaction over a 4-year period. Four models were compared for their ability to predict Time-2 dysfunctional marital interaction (a set of reliable predictors of marital dissolution). These four models were: (1) baseline physiology at Time-1; (2) interaction physiology at Tim...
Article
This article extends a mathematical approach to modeling marital interaction using nonlinear difference equations. Parameters of the model predicted divorce in a sample of newlyweds. The parameters reflected uninfluenced husband and wife steady states, emotional inertia, influenced husband and wife steady states, and influence functions. The model...
Article
This study tested the hypothesis that how a discussion of a marital conflict begins--in its first few minutes--is a predictor of divorce. The marital conflict discussion of 124 newlywed couples was coded using the Specific Affect Coding System, and the data were divided into positive, negative, and positive-minus-negative affect totals for five 3-m...
Article
This is a report of the degree of stability in affective marital interaction over a 4-year period. There were statistically significant levels of stability in overall emotionality, and in positive and negative affect, particularly for wives. There was also stability for specific affects but, except for humor and listener backchannels, these varied...
Article
Full-text available
Positive and responsive listening behavior benefits marital satisfaction, but previous reports have examined emotionally positive behavior confounded with responsive behavior, and focused primarily on younger marriages. Psycholinguistic views of listening suggest that responsive listening is distinct from emotionally positive listening. The former...