Marital Interaction Coding System: Revision and empirical evaluation

Richard Heyman, Robert L. Weiss, J. Mark Eddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Given the vast amount of codeable information in marital interactons, observational coding systems must emphasize particular classes of behavior. The most widely used marital coding scheme, the Marital Interaction Coding System (MICS), like many older 'behavioral' coding systems, emphasizes verbal content over affect. Changes made to the MICS between versions III and IV are described; they were intended to increase the system's use of coded affect and to decrease autodependence in sequential analysis. We used an archival data set of 994 couples' videotaped conflict negotiations coded with the MICS. As intended, the MICS-IV, relative to the MICS-III, was found to have the advantage of capturing more non-verbal affect expressed during marital interactions, which resulted in stronger interactional contingencies (e.g. Wife Blame → Husband Blame, Husband Facilitation → Wife Facilitation). The MICS-IV also yielded significantly lower levels of spurious autodependence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-746
Number of pages10
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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