Family business-owning couples: An EFT view into their unique conflict culture

Sharon M. Danes, Erin A. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

50 Scopus citations


This study expands the understanding of business-related tensions within business-owning couples through an interdisciplinary literature review, through a longitudinal data analysis, and through application of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) to a case study. Business-owning husbands and wives in this study reported that conflicts related to work/family life balance and unfair distribution of resources (money, time, energy) between family and business systems create the greatest tensions. Low family functionality, wives' role dissatisfaction, transfer of resources from family to business, and husbands' identification of wives as major decision makers were all predictors of wives' higher tension levels. Husbands reported increased tension when wives worked more hours in the business. Three elements of EFT are applied to a family business couple.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-260
Number of pages20
JournalContemporary Family Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004


  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
  • business-owning couples
  • couple conflict
  • family business conflict
  • family businesses

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