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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: December 2019

18 - Relationship Maintenance in Couple Therapy and Relationship Education

from Part IV - The Social Context of Relationship Maintenance


In this chapter, we describe intervention efforts aimed at promoting maintenance behaviors in romantic relationships and the factors that influence these initiatives. We highlight current cultural forces surrounding clinical and educational practices, the definitions and theories that inform interventions to sustain and enhance partners’ maintenance behaviors, and important considerations for increasing the effectiveness of these interventions. The interventions featured in our review focus on enhancing positive aspects of relationships or mitigating threat to relationship maintenance processes within the cultural context of contemporary relationships. Suggestions for advancing the field include further research on the relevance of specific maintenance strategies and theories of change across the life course, the influence of cultural context and resilience on maintenance processes, unintended consequences of relationship maintenance interventions, and the evaluation process for interventions promoting maintenance behaviors.