Symbiosis or support? The relationship of perceived family variables to retention in drug abuse treatment

Dvorah Simon, Fordham University


The purpose of the proposed investigation was to explore the relative contribution of family support and dysfunctional family interaction to retention in drug abuse treatment. The study's sample consisted of 98 male drug abusers who were undergoing treatment in the therapeutic community (TC) treatment modality. Additionally, this study explored the relationship of family variables (i.e., support and dysfunctional interaction) to each other. Demographic and historical information was collected on the 98 male subjects. Mood state was assessed by the Profile of Mood States (POMS). Perceived family support was measured by the Perceived Social Support-Family scale (PSS-Fa). Other aspects of perceived family relationships were measured by the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), which assessed perceptions of warmth and caring, on the one hand, and control or overprotection, on the other hand, for mother and father separately; and by the Parental Relationships Inventory (PRI), which assessed six dimensions of adult differentiation from the family of origin. the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (M-C SDS) was utilized as a measure of social desirability response bias in subjects' scores on the measures listed above. The results of the study did not support the hypotheses of relationships between demographic, historical, mood, and family variables, (e.g., family support, dysfunctional family closeness) with retention. These findings were discrepant with past research. Reasons for this absence of support for the hypotheses are explored, including an unexpectedly high rate of retention in this study, and shifts in demographic and drug use patterns from prior research. An examination of patterns of family closeness found that a substantial majority of the sample was "enmeshed" with their families of origin. The relationship of family support to dimensions of dysfunctional family closeness was found to be complex; some aspects of dysfunctional family closeness were perceived as supportive while others were not. Directions for future research are suggested. ^

Subject Area

Psychology|Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Simon, Dvorah, "Symbiosis or support? The relationship of perceived family variables to retention in drug abuse treatment" (1991). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9127046.