College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Are Disease and Other Conceptions of Alcohol Abuse Related To Beliefs about Outcome and Recovery

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1996

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Social Psychology

ISSN

0021-9029

Volume

26

Issue/No.

9

Abstract

Visitors to a science center (N= 189) responded to a questionnaire measuring their agreement with different conceptions of alcohol abuse (disease, sin, habit, and addiction conceptions) and their beliefs regarding treatment for alcohol abusers. Respondents who agreed with a disease concept thought alcohol abuse was a more serious problem, were more skeptical of statements about recovery, and were more likely to feel that treatment was necessary to achieve change, compared to those who disagreed with or were neutral toward the disease concept. Agreement with the sin, habit, and addiction conceptions was not related to beliefs about treatment and outcome. The utility of promoting various conceptualizations of alcohol abuse is discussed.

DOI

10.1111/j.1559-1816.1996.tb01129.x