Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Stepping Stone to Recovery: A Qualitative Study of Women Who Successfully Completed Residential Substance Abuse Treatment
by Whitfield, Donna, Psy.D., Alliant International University, 2014, 136; 3620294
Abstract (Summary)

Many women enter long-term residential treatment for substance abuse but fewer than 50% successfully complete the program of the San Francisco Women's Rehabilitation Foundation. To date there has been no study focused on the women who successfully complete this long-term residential treatment program for a substance use disorder. This research investigated the sociodemographics, substance use characteristics, and lives of 20 women who successfully completed the program with the goal of applying the knowledge gained to increasing future success rates. These attributes of success were explored qualitatively using a phenomenological approach. The results of this study indicated that women who successfully completed the program were over the age of 40, single, White, had a family history of substance abuse, and had a college education. They also started using substances before the age of 15, had a history of trauma, and a diagnosed mental illness. Successful program completion focused on personal resources and program experiences. Among the resources that helped participants build and maintain sobriety were spirituality and religion, social support, sobriety resources self-insight, resilience, and family support. The program experiences that contributed to participants' success were structure, sense of accountability, sense of community, the deep work the program encourages. Negative staff interactions were a downside to these program experiences. Practical suggestions are offered regarding program enhancement for female-specific programs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Connor, Michael E.
Commitee: Blum, Stephen R., Murphy, Gael
School: Alliant International University
Department: San Francisco, CSPP
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Mental health, Womens studies, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Abuse, Substance, Treatment, Use, Women
Publication Number: 3620294
ISBN: 9781303900693
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