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Gail Margolin published a book with Neil Jacobson, which launched a social learning model of [couples therapy]]. [1] In this model of marital therapy, partners learn to be nicer to each other through behavioral exchange (contingency contracts), communicate better and improve their conflict-resolution skills. Early support came when Gottman found that as long as the ratio of positive to negative interactions remains at least five to one, the relationship is sturdy. When the ratio dips below there is a 94 percent chance that a couple will divorce.

Tis model built on earlier work conducted by Jacobson's supervisor Robert Weiss.


  1. Jacobson and Margolin (1979 ).Marital therapy: Strategies based on social learning and behavior exchange principles. New York: Brunner/Mazel.

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