Male and female alcoholics' attributions regarding the onset and termination of relapses and the maintenance of abstinence

Gerard J. Connors, Stephen A. Maisto, William H. Zywiak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study was designed to examine male and female alcoholics' attributions of factors associated with the onset and termination of specific relapse events. In addition, data were gathered on factors associated with the achievement and maintenance of abstinent periods. The participants were 77 men and 65 women alcoholics entering alcoholism treatment who were followed for a 12-month period. The two relapse precipitants reported most often by the men were a desire to drink and feeling good. The women most often reported a desire to drink, psychological cravings, letting down one's guard, feeling down, and spouse/partner factors. The women more often reported letting down one's guard and spouse/partner factors as precipitants, relative to the men. Among the factors identified as associated with termination of a relapse, the influences most often endorsed were 'just decided to stop' and, among women, feeling bad emotionally. The most frequently identified methods for achieving and maintaining abstinence were avoiding risky people and places, recalling drinking problems (especially among men), treatment, and use of self-help groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-42
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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