A prelude to matching: Locus of control and belief in divine intervention among members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Rational Recovery.
AuthorAuxier, John Wheeler.
Committee ChairSales, Amos P.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of the study was to explore the relationship between locus of control orientation, belief in divine intervention and successful affiliation with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Rational Recovery (RR). "Successful affiliation" was defined in the study by the following criteria. First, a history of problem drinking as measured by a score of 12 or above on the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST). Second, at least three (3) months of continuous sobriety. Third, substantial involvement in AA or RR as measured by Reinert's (1992) Alcoholics Anonymous Involvement Scale (AAIS), or Auxier's (1994) Rational Recovery Involvement Scale (RRIS). Fifty-seven (57) subjects met the above criteria as successful AA or RR members for the study (AA n = 34, RR n = 23). Successful AA affiliates were then compared with successful RR affiliates on a locus of control measure, (the Rotter I-E Scale) and on a measure of belief in divine intervention, the Auxier (1994) Divine Intervention Scale (DIS). As hypothesized, the results of the locus of control measure showed that successful AA members were significantly more external in orientation than successful RR members (p < .016). Also as hypothesized, the results of the Divine Intervention Scale showed that successful AA members had significantly stronger beliefs in divine intervention than their RR counterparts (p < .001). These findings were interpreted using the framework of Leon Festinger's Cognitive Dissonance Theory (1957). It was suggested that AA's drop-out phenomena may be a reflection of cognitive dissonance processes. Individuals with a low belief in divine intervention and an internal locus of control may be expected to drop out of AA due to cognitive dissonance effects. A third hypothesis of the study predicted that external locus of control and strong beliefs in divine intervention would positively correlate. This prediction was not supported. This finding suggests that the impulse towards external locus of control in successful AA members has its source in non-spiritual aspects of AA's philosophy of recovery. It was concluded that locus of control and belief in divine intervention show promise as treatment matching criteria and further research using these dimensions as predictors of successful affiliation is warranted.
Degree ProgramSpecial Education and Rehabilitation