A role for spiritual change in the benefits of 12-step fellowship involvement
BACKGROUND: The current study examines the hypothesis that spiritual change helps mediate (or explain) effects for involvement in 12-step fellowship involvement on recovery outcomes among substance-abusing populations.
METHODS: Participants (733) received treatment at 1 of 5 day hospital and 7 residential substance abuse treatment programs in California. Assessments included a baseline interview and 1-year follow-up. To assess spirituality, measures included (1) the Religious Background and Behaviors scale and (2) an item assessing whether or not participants had had a spiritual awakening through their involvement with 12-step fellowships.
RESULTS: Results confirmed the hypothesis. Increases in 12-step fellowship involvement from baseline to follow-up predicted higher odds of total abstinence at follow-up, and this relationship was explained by increases in spirituality.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study provides further evidence that spiritual change contributes to recovery, at least within the context of 12-step fellowship involvement. The study also deepens our understanding of how 12-step fellowship involvement works.
Research report; Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2007 Oct;31(10 Suppl):76s-79s. A role for spiritual change in the benefits of 12-step fellowship involvement. Zemore SE.