Article

Social network variables in alcoholics anonymous: A literature review

Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago, IL 60614, USA.
Clinical Psychology Review (Impact Factor: 7.18). 04/2008; 28(3):430-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2007.07.014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the most commonly used program for substance abuse recovery and one of the few models to demonstrate positive abstinence outcomes. Although little is known regarding the underlying mechanisms that make this program effective, one frequently cited aspect is social support. In order to gain insight into the processes at work in AA, this paper reviewed 24 papers examining the relationship between AA and social network variables. Various types of social support were included in the review such as structural support, functional support, general support, alcohol-specific support, and recovery helping. Overall, this review found that AA involvement is related to a variety of positive qualitative and quantitative changes in social support networks. Although AA had the greatest impact on friend networks, it had less influence on networks consisting of family members or others. In addition, support from others in AA was found to be of great value to recovery, and individuals with harmful social networks supportive of drinking actually benefited the most from AA involvement. Furthermore, social support variables consistently mediated AA's impact on abstinence, suggesting that social support is a mechanism in the effectiveness of AA in promoting a sober lifestyle. Recommendations are made for future research and clinical practice.

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Available from: Leonard A Jason, Jul 30, 2015
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    • "Similarly, in a large social network of middle-aged adults, unhealthy drinkers were found to cluster together, and changes in drinking in the network prospectively predicted greater drinking at the level of the individual (Rosenquist et al., 2010). In addition, a number of recent studies have suggested that an important mechanism of Alcoholics Anonymous is fostering a more adaptive nondrinking social network (Groh et al., 2008; Kelly et al., 2011, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Alcohol misuse is substantially influenced by social factors, but systematic assessments of social network drinking are typically lengthy. The goal of the present study was to provide further validation of a brief measure of social network alcohol use, the Brief Alcohol Social Density Assessment (BASDA), in a sample of emerging adults. Specifically, the study sought to examine the BASDA's convergent, criterion, and incremental validity in relation to well-established measures of drinking motives and problematic drinking. Method: Participants were 354 undergraduates who were assessed using the BASDA, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), and the Drinking Motives Questionnaire. Results: Significant associations were observed between the BASDA index of alcohol-related social density and alcohol misuse, social motives, and conformity motives, supporting convergent validity. Criterion-related validity was supported by evidence that significantly greater alcohol involvement was present in the social networks of individuals scoring at or above an AUDIT score of 8, a validated criterion for hazardous drinking. Finally, the BASDA index was significantly associated with alcohol misuse above and beyond drinking motives in relation to AUDIT scores, supporting incremental validity. Conclusions: Taken together, these findings provide further support for the BASDA as an efficient measure of drinking in an individual's social network. Methodological considerations as well as recommendations for future investigations in this area are discussed. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 74, 810-815, 2013).
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 09/2013; 74(5):810-5. DOI:10.15288/jsad.2013.74.810 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    • "Much of the prior research on social networks and substance abuse focused on adoption (e.g. social network influences of using) and maintenance of alcohol or drug usage [11]-[12]. Neaigus et al. [13], for instance, found that drug injectors with more frequent social contacts with non-injectors engaged in lower levels of injecting risk behavior. Buchanan and Latkin [14] examined the social networks for heroin and cocaine users. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although evidence exists that substance abuse abstinence is enhanced when individuals in recovery are embedded in social networks that are cohesive, few studies examined the network structures underlying recovery home support systems. In two studies, we investigated the mechanisms through which social environments affect health outcomes among two samples of adult residents of recovery homes. Findings from Study 1 (n = 150) indicated that network size and the presence of relationships with other Oxford House (OH) residents both predicted future abstinence. Study 2 (n = 490) included individuals who lived in an OH residence for up to 6 months, and their personal relationship with other house residents predicted future abstinence. Implications of these findings are discussed.
    05/2012; 1(3):4-12.
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    • "Selection of predisposing, enabling and need/severity help-seeking variables associated with AA participation and drinking outcome was guided by scientific reviews (Groh et al., 2008; Kelly, 2003; Tonigan et al., 1996b) and published research articles describing treatmentseeking samples (Bodin, 2006; Bogenschutz, 2008; Grant, 1996; Hasin and Grant, 1995; Kaskutas et al., 1997b; Koski-Jännes, 1991; Longabaugh et al., 2005; Morgenstern et al., 2002; Timko et al., 2002; Weisner, 1993; Weisner and Matzger, 2002; Witbrodt and Romelsjö, 2010). We were also empirically guided in our selection of predictor variables. "
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    ABSTRACT: Given the widespread use of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other similar groups in the United States and the increasing membership of women, this study compares women with men on their meeting attendance and AA-prescribed behaviors, factors associated with that AA participation, and tests how these relate to women's and men's abstinence across time. All consecutive new admissions (age ≥ 18) from county-wide public and private treatment programs representing the larger population of treatment seekers were approached to be in the study at treatment entry. Those consenting at baseline (n = 926) were sought for follow-up interviews 1, 3, 5, and 7 years later. Generalized linear models were used to test whether various help-seeking factors were associated with AA participation differentially by gender and, controlling for AA and other confounders, whether women differ from men on abstinence. At each follow-up interview, women and men attended AA at similar rates and similarly practiced specific AA behaviors, and they were alike on most factors associated with AA participation and abstention across time including abstinence goal, drink volume, negative consequences, prior treatment, and encouragement to reduce drinking. Relative to men, women with higher drug severity were less likely to participate in AA. Although higher AA participation was a predictor of abstinence for both genders, men were less likely to be abstinent across time. Men were also more likely to reduce their AA participation across time. These findings add to an emerging literature on how women compare with men on factors related to AA participation and subsequent drinking outcomes across time. Findings have clinical implications for service providers referring clients to such groups.
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