Communication practices and outcomes in recovering alcoholic couples
AuthorBrown, Mary Louise
Health Sciences, Public Health.
Sociology, Individual and Family Studies.
MetadataShow full item record
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.
AbstractThis study of 51 couples with one or two recovering alcoholic partners examined the daily communication practices and contextual variables as predictors of partner abstinence efficacy, relationship satisfaction, and well-being. A conceptual model based on a systems perspective was applied to male and female partners. 34 dual-alcoholic couples and 17 single-alcoholic couples recruited from A.A., Al-Anon, and two local treatment programs completed individual questionnaires and conjoint interviews in their homes at Time 1, and brief telephone interviews at 3 months follow-up. Results indicate that women and men differ in the ways they respond to circumstances in their recovery and in their relationships. For men, abstinence efficacy was linked to poor conflict management, negative talk among partners, sobriety length, and relationship satisfaction. Women's abstinence efficacy was linked to their emotional well-being, and changes in women's temptation to drink were predicted by poor couple conflict management, less positivity among partners, and less emotional disclosure in men. High levels of daily stress in men were related to both partners' daily communication, particularly men's conflict management and women's negative talk. Couples with less than 15 months of sobriety differed from couples with more than 29 months of sobriety in conflict management and stress in the last year. In all, communication practices and daily stress play important but differing roles in maintaining sobriety and relationship satisfaction in male and female partners. The model was partially supported by the data, but needs modifications to reflect dissimilar relationships among variables in male and female partners. Policy implications and suggestions for further research are discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College