Psychosocial correlates of 12-step-based recovery from substance abuse
White, Joseph Michael
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Research on recovery from addictive substances is necessary to provide a more complete picture of the addictive process. The proposed research was developed to further expand the knowledge base regarding the process of recovery with respect to two potential components of that process: spirituality and identity. First, spirituality has been considered a key component of recovery by adherents of the 12-Step model of recovery but has not been empirically validated within that context. As a concept, spirituality has not been well understood by researchers and many professionals, has often been defined solely as religiosity, and has frequently been regarded with disdain and/or suspicion. In this study, spirituality will be operationally defined and tested as a predictor of recovery. Second, early experience with substance use has been found to interfere with (e.g., delay, block)adequate resolution of relevant issues of psychosocial development, especially the identity crisis. Inadequate psychosocial development may also interfere with a person's ability to understand and commit to spirituality. Poor resolution of the identity crisis, then, may directly influence recovery and indirectly influence the association between spirituality and recovery. Therefore, assessment of the fifth stage of psychosocial development (identity versus role confusion) will be addressed in this research. The primary focus of this study is to examine the empirical association of the concept of recovery with several dimensions of spirituality and identity and to determine whether recovery acts as an intervening variable between identity and spirituality.