Transformation and Recovery: Spiritual Implications of the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve-Step Program
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CitationWerner, Gretchen. 2015. Transformation and Recovery: Spiritual Implications of the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve-Step Program. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to examine spiritual implications and program involvement among Alcoholics Anonymous members (N = 116). Subjects completed self-report measures such as the Daily Spiritual Experience scale (DSE), Alcoholics Anonymous Involvement Inventory (AAI), and a modified version of the Purpose in Life (PIL) measure. Based on previous research, Hypothesis 1 predicted that greater involvement in the program would correlate to length of sobriety. Significance was found between steps completed and months sober (r =.32, p<.01, 2-tailed). Hypothesis 2 suggests that higher levels of spirituality would be correlated with longer sobriety rates. However, there was no significant relationship between the DSE and months sober, although, there was a significant relationship between the Purpose in Life (PIL) scale and Months sober. This supports our hypothesis that spirituality correlates with months sober (r =.24, p<.05, 2-tailed). Hypothesis 3 suggested that more active participation and commitment to the Alcoholics Anonymous program would influence greater purpose in life. This was mostly supported by our results. Together these findings suggest the need to seek alternate study designs in searching for the association between spirituality and alcohol dependence/recovery. The current study may point to a need to shift focus in addiction recovery and spirituality research. Examining strategies to promote the program of AA may be the more deserving exploration focus than the ongoing research of the relationship between spirituality and recovery.
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