Predictors of Dropouts of Domestic Violence Focused Couples Treatment
The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine differences between dropouts and completers in a domestic violence focused couples treatment (DVFCT) program. Fifty-eight men met the criteria of participating in at least one couples session for domestic violence. Data was analyzed with t-test and chi-squares. The dropout rate was 36 percent. Three variables — age, race, and marital status — were significant predictors of dropping out from the program. White men who were over 30 and married were found significantly more likely to complete treatment than were nonwhite single men younger than 30. Other variables that approached significance were employment, parental status, living arrangement and prior treatment. That is, employed men who lived with their partners, had children with their partners, and had prior treatment tended to stay in treatment. Stages of Change using the URICA and the URICA-DV measures and level of violence at intake using the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale were not found to differentiate between dropouts and completers in this sample. Other variables examined but not found as significant discriminators between completers and dropouts of DVFCT were education and referral source. A literature review of dropouts in therapy, marriage and family therapy, batterer programs and DVFCT; as well as literature on stages of change, is included. Further discussion and recommendations for further research and for improving domestic violence focused couples treatment is included.