Second-order change in marriage and family therapy: A web-based modified Delphi study

Maureen Davey, Tracey Duncan, Karni Kissil, Adam Davey, Linda Stone Fish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Second-order change is a central concept in Marriage and Family Therapy, but still remains poorly operationalized. We conducted a web-based modified Delphi study with 31 established faculty members currently teaching in COAMFTE-accredited Master's and Doctoral programs in the United States and in Canada to identify consensus regarding second-order change concepts, clinical operationalization, evaluation, and teaching principles. Numerous exemplars of first and second-order change were generated, but consensus on most items was low. Consensus was highest for pedagogy and low regarding concepts and clinical examples of firstorder change and evaluation of second-order change. Results suggest clearer definitions and better measurement of systemic change are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-111
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Family Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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