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Keywords:

  • attitudes;
  • checkup;
  • couples;
  • help seeking;
  • marriage

Although the barriers to couples' help seeking can be daunting, to date there is only a small body of literature addressing the factors that motivate couples to seek help. This study examined the association between attitudes toward relationship help seeking and relationship help seeking behaviors, as well as the association between marital quality and help seeking. This study was completed in the context of the Marriage Checkup, a brief intervention designed to reduce the barriers to help seeking. Results indicated that help seeking attitudes and behaviors were not related in couples, and that wives' marital quality was negatively associated with both wives' and husbands' help seeking. Husbands' marital quality was not associated with husbands' help seeking. Overall, this suggests that the process of couples' help seeking is distinct from that of individuals and seems to be driven primarily by the female partner. Further implications for theory and treatment are discussed.