Alcoholics' perceptions of factors in the onset and termination of relapses and the maintenance of abstinence: Results from a 30-month follow-up

James R. McKay, Stephen A. Maisto, Timothy J. O'Farrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Male alcoholics were interviewed at 6 points during a 30-month follow-up about their perceptions of the causes of relapses, factors in the termination of relapses, and coping strategies used to promote abstinence. Cognitive factors were generally rated as having a stronger influence on relapse than emotional or interpersonal factors. Several factors were perceived to be important in terminating relapse. Active cognitive coping strategies were rated as more important in the maintenance of abstinence than other coping behaviors. The relative importance of factors in termination and coping strategies at each follow-up point was highly consistent. A greater reliance on active as opposed to avoidance coping in the 1st 3 months predicted better drinking outcomes during the next follow-up period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-180
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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