The Family Therapist Behavior Scale (FTBS): Development and Evaluation of a Coding System

William M Pinsof*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This study evaluated the validity and reliability of a new coding system — The Family Therapist Behavior Scale (FTBS) — that was designed to identify and study clinically relevant verbal behaviors of short‐term, problem‐oriented family therapists. Validity was assessed by testing the scale's ability to discriminate significant, predicted differences between the in‐therapy behaviors of eight beginning family therapists conducting observed interviews and eight advanced family therapists conducting supervisory interviews. All of the sessions, which were initial interviews, were videotaped. Two coders rated three five‐minute samples from each of the 16 tapes with the FTBS. The validity results supported over 50 per cent of the 16 research hypotheses. The reliability analysis, based on the actual study data, indicated that the interrater reliability of the 19 category FTBS differed from chance at less than the .001 level of significance. The implications of these findings are examined and future research directions are identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-461
Number of pages11
JournalFamily process
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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