Brian D. Doss

Associate Professor

University of California, Los Angeles, 2004

Research Interests

Reviews and meta-analyses consistently show that couple interventions have significant and large effects compared to no treatment. However, few couples seek premarital counseling and only one third of couples seek marital therapy before getting divorced. Additionally, we know very little about how interventions work, factors that predict their efficacy, or the effectiveness of interventions in the "real world". My program of research seeks to further our understanding of research-based couple interventions and apply these findings to intervene with couples in more flexible ways. Within this broader framework, my research has three specific aims:

  1. Elucidate couples' help-seeking behaviors
  2. Identify mediators and moderators of couple interventions
  3. Develop and evaluate flexible couple interventions

Current Research

Web-based Interventions for Distressed Couples

Although several empirically-supported interventions to prevent and treat relationship distress have been developed, the majority of couples - especially high-risk couples - do not seek these face-to-face interventions. Thus, to improve the reach of couple interventions, we have been funded by NIH and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) since 2009 to provide web-based interventions for couples. Results from the NIH-funded RCT of 300 couples indicated that the program creates significant and medium-sized gains in relationship functioning. Additionally, for individuals presenting to the program with symptoms of depression /anxiety, it results in significant and medium-sized gains as well. Currently, we in the middle of a five-year project to provide both the OurRelationship and ePREP online programs to over 2,000 low-income couples nationwide. Initial results indicate that these programs are effective in improving individual and relationship functioning for these couples. You can find out more about this effort at

Selected Publications

Doss, B. D., Feinberg, L. K., *Rothman, K., *Roddy, M. K., & Comer, J. S. (in press). Using technology to enhance and expand interventions for couples and families: Conceptual and methodological considerations. Journal of Family Psychology.

Doss, B. D., & Rhoades, G. K. (2017). Transition to parenthood. Current Opinion in Psychology, 13, 25-28. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2016.04.003

Doss, B. D., *Cicila, L. N., *Georgia, E. J., *Roddy, M. K., *Nowlan, K. M., Benson, L. A., & Christensen, A. (2016). A randomized controlled trial of the web-based OurRelationshipprogram: Effects on relationship and individual functioning. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 84, 285-296

Doss, B. D., Mitchell, A., *Georgia, E. J., *Biesen, J. N., & Rowe, L. S. (2015). Improvements in closeness, communication, and psychological symptoms mediate effects of couple therapy for veterans. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83, 405-415. doi: 10.1037/a0038541

Doss, B. D., Cicila, L. N., Hsueh, A. C., Morrison, K. R., & Carhart, K. (2014). A randomized controlled trial of brief coparenting and relationship interventions during the transition to parenthood. Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 483-494. doi: 10.1037/t01830-000

Doss, B. D., *Benson, L. A., *Georgia, E. J., & Christensen, A. (2013). Translation of Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy to a web-based intervention. Family Process, 52, 139-153. doi: 10.1037/t02125-000

Doss, B. D., Rowe, L. E., *Morrison, K. R., Libet, J., Birchler, G. R., Madsen, J. W., & McQuaid, J. (2012). Couple therapy for military veterans: Overall effectiveness and predictors of response. Behavior Therapy. 43, 216-227. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2011.06.006

Doss, B. D., *Hsueh, A., & *Carhart, K. (2011). Premature termination of couple therapy with veterans: Definitions and prediction of long-term outcomes. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 770-774. doi: 10.1037/a0025239

Doss, B. D., Rowe, L. E., *Carhart, K., Madsen, J. W., & Georgia, E. (2011). Sudden gains in treatment-as-usual couple therapy for military veterans. Behavior Therapy, 42, 509-520.

Doss, B. D., Rhoades, G. K., Stanley, S. M., & Markman, H. J. (2009). The effect of the transition to parenthood on relationship quality: An eight-year prospective study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 601-619.

Note: * Indicates student author


Sample Syllabi
PSY 481 Close Relationships
PSY 657 Introduction to Clinical Methods, Ethics, and Professional Issues
PSY 685 Couple Therapy

Prospective Students / Post-docs

I hope to be able to admit a new graduate student for the 2018/2019 academic year and expect to have grant funding to do so. This student would work on our ongoing ACF-funded grant to provide web-based couple interventions to low-income couples. My graduate students tend to enroll in the Adult Division track, but I can also accept students in the Child Division track if that is a better fit for your interests. If I can answer any additional questions, please feel free to e-mail me.

I also expect to be hiring for a new post-doctoral position that would start in summer, 2018. In this position, the post-doctoral fellow would assist in: a) analyzing data from our ACF-funded project for publication; b) submitting grant applications, c) and overseeing some aspects of the ongoing study. This position is contingent on approval from the University of Miami.