Changes in family functioning during treatment and drinking outcomes for high and low autonomy alcoholics

James R. McKay, Richard Longabaugh, Martha C. Beattie, Stephen A. Maisto, Nora E. Noel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alcoholics' level of autonomy was hypothesized to have a moderating effect on the relationship between changes in family functioning and subsequent drinking behavior. Functioning of families of patients in outpatient alcoholism treatment was assessed prior to the onset of treatment and again 6 months later. For alcoholics who were low in autonomy, perceptions of improvements in functioning predicted better drinking outcomes during a subsequent 6-month follow-up, while changes in family functioning were unrelated to drinking behavior in high autonomy alcoholics. The areas of family functioning in which change was a significant predictor of later drinking primarily concerned the quality of interactions between family members. Alcoholics' gender, psychiatric comorbidity, and the type of treatment they received did not moderate the relationship between changes in family functioning and drinking outcomes. Implications for the treatment of alcoholic patients and the limitations of the research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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