Confirming, Validating, and Norming the Factor Structure of Systemic Therapy Inventory of Change Initial and Intersession

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Family Process

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Progress or feedback research tracks and feeds back client progress data throughout the course of psychotherapy. In the effort to empirically ground psychotherapeutic practice, feedback research is both a complement and alternative to empirically supported manualized treatments. Evidence suggests that tracking and feeding back progress data with individual or nonsystemic feedback systems improves outcomes in individual and couple therapy. The research reported in this article pertains to the STIC® (Systemic Therapy Inventory of Change)—the first client‐report feedback system designed to empirically assess and track change within client systems from multisystemic and multidimensional perspectives in individual, couple, and family therapy. Clients complete the STIC Initial before the first session and the shorter STIC Intersession before every subsequent session. This study tested and its results supported the hypothesized factor structure of the six scales that comprise both STIC forms in a clinical outpatient sample and in a normal, random representative sample of the U.S. population. This study also tested the STIC's concurrent validity and found that its 6 scales and 40 of its 41 subscales differentiated the clinical and normal samples. Lastly, the study derived clinical cut‐offs for each scale and subscale to determine whether and how much a client's score falls in the normal or clinical range. Beyond supporting the factorial and concurrent validity of both STIC forms, this research supported the reliabilities of the six scales (Omegahierarchical) as well as the reliabilities of most subscales (alpha and rate–rerate). This article delineates clinical implications and directions for future research.


Family Process, Vol. 54, No. 3 (September 2015): 464-484. DOI.

Lynne Knobloch-Fedders was affiliated with Northwestern University at the time of publication.