The Marital Therapy Evaluation Questionnaire (MTEQ): Development and preliminary reliability and validity

Date of Completion

January 2009


Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Psychology, Psychometrics




The Marital Therapy Evaluation Questionnaire (MTEQ) is a 55-item instrument designed to assess change in individual spouses, couple relationship, and family functioning following therapy. The scale also measures clients' retrospective accounts of their therapy experiences and therapist. The MTEQ's development was based on evidence-based clinical theories, constructs, and concepts. This study examined the MTEQ's factor structure and provided reliability and validity data. ^ An exploratory factor analysis with the Principal Axis Factoring extraction and Promax rotation method yielded a meaningful four-factor solution with a total of 22 items. These four factors consisted of the Couple's Marital Relationships, Marital Therapy and Therapist, Considering Divorce, and Client Factors. These four factors accounted for approximately 56% of the total variance in a sample of 342 participants. Reliability was supported by high Cronbach's alphas, which were α = 0.96, α = 0.94, α = 0.94, α = 0.66, respectively. Evidence of concurrent validity included significant correlations with other established measures. As predicted, the Couple's Marital Relationship subscale was significantly correlated with the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale (KMSS) (r = 0.66), which demonstrated a highly reliable and valid measure of overall satisfaction with the marital relationship. The Considering Divorce subscale was strongly negatively correlated with the Couple's Marital Relationships subscale and the KMSS (r = −0.60; r = −0.64). Other two subscales, Marital Therapy and Therapist, and Client Factors were also significantly positively correlated with marital satisfaction and measures of clients' general well-being and satisfaction with life. ^ Evidence for the criterion validity of the MTEQ subscales was obtained by conducting t-test comparisons between participants who were still married to the partners they attended therapy with and those who were no longer with their partners one to three years following therapy completion. All four MTEQ subscales significantly differentiated between the two groups. Additionally, the Considering Divorce subscale significantly differentiated between those who remained satisfied with their marriages and those who were no longer satisfied one to three years post therapy. The Couple's Marital Relationships subscale significantly differentiated between those who were divorced and those who were not. ^ Preliminary evidence supported the usefulness of the MTEQ as a brief, simple-to-administer, and easily interpreted tool that can assist clinicians in obtaining relevant information on post-marital therapy treatment effectiveness in order to formulate improved change strategies and interventions with married couples. Limitations of the present study, and recommendations for future work to enhance the measure's validity and reliability are presented. ^