Measuring Family Therapy Outcome in a Clinical Setting: Families That Do Better or Do Worse in Therapy

Robert B. Hampson, W. Robert Beavers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study examined several important family and therapist characteristics as they related to treatment success. A total of 434 families entering family therapy at a sliding-fee clinic in Dallas, Texas were rated (on the Beavers Interactional Competence and Style Scales), and completed several self-report family assessment instruments (Self-Report Family Inventory, FACES III) prior to beginning therapy. The therapists, trainees from various disciplines, had been trained in the Beavers Systems Model. Overall, 75% of the families showed at least some improvement. Those that fared best in therapy were more competent at the outset. While number of therapy sessions was associated with greater gains, there were some families that made great gains in fewer than six sessions. There were important demographic qualities that did not discriminate between greater- vs. lesser-gain families, including income level, ethnicity, therapist gender, and family size. A regression analysis indicated that functional rather than demographic variables were more important in predicting therapy outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-361
Number of pages15
JournalFamily Process
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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