The current study explored the lives of eight African American women who had used Alcoholics Anonymous to support their recovery from alcoholism. Each of the women interviewed had over two years of continuous sobriety, had been affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous for at least two years, identified as alcoholic, and lived in the Bay Area of California. The study consisted of an in depth interview with questions examining substance use history, recovery history, experience and utilization of Alcoholics Anonymous, and demographics. Participants expressed that the program of Alcoholics Anonymous was helpful to their recovery from alcoholism and said that they find support in the A.A. community. Furthermore, women interviewed were giving support to fellow A.A. members through sponsorship and other service commitments. While women interviewed generally felt connected to fellow recovering alcoholics, many had to distance themselves from their families and communities of origin in order to achieve abstinence. Experiences related to race were mixed. Some women reported that they had witnessed the breakdown of racial barriers when people of different races bond over a shared experiences of alcoholism. Other women said that they censored themselves in meetings where the majority of other meeting participants did not share minority status. Women interviewed expressed that they worked programs according to traditional A.A. suggestions, and understood that it was possible to do this in a flexible manner in order to meet their needs as women of color. All participants said that they were able to connect to A.A. and achieve abstinence only when they had an internal motivation to change their lives.
|Commitee:||Adams, Diane, DaVania, Megan|
|School:||Alliant International University|
|Department:||San Francisco, CSPP|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Womens studies, Psychology|
|Keywords:||African american, Alcoholics anonymous, Alcoholism, Substance use, Women|
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