BELONGINGNESS - THE CRITICAL VARIABLE IN THE RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT OF ALCOHOLISM

DAVID FRANCIS MACHELL, Fordham University

Abstract

This study was conducted to test the effectiveness of program modes which stress "fellowship" (concept of Alcoholics Anonymous) or a sense of belongingness, as a means for successful treatment of alcoholics in a residential setting. In particular, this inquiry examines the impact of treatment structure (from less to more) on a sense of peer belongingness, and belongingness on successful program completion and continued alcohol abstinence.^ This research focuses on three major questions: (1) In a halfway house setting, is the highly structured program (A.A. halfway house treatment precedent) a significant factor in increasing client perceived belongingness? (2) Is client perceived belongingness a significant factor in treatment outcome? (3) Is a highly structured program a significant factor in treatment outcome?^ To answer these questions, 200 gamma (chronic, recidivistic) male adult alcoholics were randomly selected from a population of 460 clients admitted to a 90 day residential program from 1980-1982. They were randomly assigned to Mode 1, a less structured program (increased amount of free time, fewer organized activities) or Mode 2, a more highly structured version of the same program (less amount of free time, more organized activities). A history intake questionnaire was utilized to collect initial demographic information. Pretest belongingness level information on each subject was obtained by use of a pretest structured interview with a separate structured interview format used throughout program to gather posttest results. Based on responses of the posttest and pretest structured interviews, clients were categorized (posttest and pretest results separately) into the isolate (loner), dyad (closeness to one other), cluster (closeness to more than one other), and variant groupings (alters between isolate, dyad, cluster). Treatment outcome was measured by length of stay in program and rate of relapse (cessation of alcohol abstinence).^ The findings indicated no significant relationship between program structure and belongingness level change. A level of statistical significance existed between belongingness posttest level and length of stay and relapse rate, while program structure was shown to have no significant relationship to length of stay in program and relapse rate. ^

Subject Area

School counseling

Recommended Citation

MACHELL, DAVID FRANCIS, "BELONGINGNESS - THE CRITICAL VARIABLE IN THE RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT OF ALCOHOLISM" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8409262.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8409262

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