The study investigated “Effects of cognitive restructuring skills training (CRT) and communication skills training (CST) on conflict resolution among Nigerian couples. Two behavioural techniques, CRT and CST, and a combination of the two techniques were used on conflicting subjects who had marital problems in Aba metropolitan city of Abia State, Nigeria. The study employed a 4 × 2 factorial design with treatment strategies on the rows and gender (male and female) on the columns. A sample of 48 subjects, with marital conflicts, were randomly assigned to, CRT, CST and a combination of both techniques (CRT/CST) and the control groups. Each treatment group comprised twelve subjects, six of which were assigned to each of the genders (male and female).The measuring instrument:- marital happiness scale (MHS), irrational value scale (IVS) and marital communication rating scale (MCRS) were administered at pre-test, post-test and follow up sessions. The experimental groups were each exposed to six sessions of treatment in CRT, CST and six sessions for CRT/CST for a period of six weeks, while the control group was instructed on marital problems. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and Scheffe test were used to analyse the data obtained. Four research questions were stated and twelve null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. The major findings indicated that; 1) the subjects used in the experimental groups and the control group had marital conflicts; 2) cognitive restructuring skills training, communication skills training and a combination of both techniques had significant effect on conflict resolution among Nigerian couples when compared with the control group; 3) none of the three techniques was better than the other as indicated in the scheffe test; 4) effects of the three therapeutic techniques at one-month follow-up were significantly different from the control group. The implications of the findings were highlighted. It was recommended that pre-marital and marital guidance programmes be organized for conflicting families and intermittent workshops be organized to sensitize married couples and people intending to marry.
Key words: Marriage and family, cognitive restructuring, communication skills training.
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