Differences between alcoholics and spouses in their perceptions of family functioning

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The present study is an investigation of differences between alcoholics and significant others in their perceptions of the functioning of their families or households. A sample of 80 pairs of alcoholic patients (PTs) and their spouses or spouse equivalents (SOs) who were living together in the same household evaluated family functioning by completing the Family Assessment Device (FAD). Agreement between PTs and SOs was moderate on the Affective Responsiveness, Communication, Problem Solving, Roles, and General Functioning scales. However, there was little or no agreement on the Behavior Control and Affective Involvement scales. These results indicate that although PTs and SOs tended to agree about how well family members work together and share thoughts and feelings, they disagreed about how well boundary issues were dealt with in their families. Implications for treating alcoholic families are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • alcoholism
  • couples therapy
  • family boundaries
  • family functioning
  • family therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Differences between alcoholics and spouses in their perceptions of family functioning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this