Who Affiliates

What are the characteristics of those who do undergo the affiliation processes, contrasted with those who do not, even though exposed to the possibility? Demographic variables such as age, social class, race, employment status, and parental socio-economic status have been consistently found to be unrelated to membership (Trice & Roman, 1970; Emerick, 1989). These findings provide considerable certainty about the existence of often-alleged demographic barriers to AA affiliation— they, in effect, fail to deter affiliation.

Less certainty can be attributed to significant psychological characteristics that have been found to encourage affiliation. As in evaluations of psy-chotherapies in general (Eysenck, 1952; Rachman & Wilson, 1980), researchers cannot predict with any certainty who will affiliate. Despite this, certain personality features have been systematically found to distinguish between affiliates and nonaffiliates (Ogborne & Glaser, 1981; Ogborne, 1989).

Several studies have suggested that, among other things, A.A. members can be distinguished from other heavy drinkers with respect to personality and perceptual characteristics. . . . The authors suggest that A.A. affiliation is associated with authoritarianism and conformist tendencies, high affiliation needs, proneness to guilt, religiosity, external control and field dependency [Ogborne,

Ogborne (1989) also reports on two additional studies that support the belief that AA attracts individuals with certain emotional makeups. Ogborne's overall findings were that alcohol-troubled persons who expressed group adherence, extroversion, submissiveness, and conservatism were attracted to AA and its program. Overall, these findings appear to be consistent with the role demands made on members. For example, the sociability and affiliativeness themes found among those who do affiliate, as compared to nonaffiliates, seem to match the heavy group interactions expected of members.

All things considered, affiliation with AA is a distinctively selective process that fits only a distinct minority of those in the alcohol-abusing population. Although the exact proportion of the population helped by AA is unknown, even AA's critics recognize that it is substantial. Other specific types of therapies may do proportionally somewhat better or worse, but a reasonable estimate would be that AA is associated with fairly typical improvement rates.

Current studies strongly suggest that AA appeals to a highly specific and select segment and, by doing so, further suggest that other therapies are also selective as to their appeal. These points underscore the need for service providers to be aware of the diverse makeup of the problem-drinking population. Assessment and services need to be far more individualized than they have been, so that assignments may be made to the most appropriate organizations, institutions, or therapies.

Beat The Battle With The Bottle

Beat The Battle With The Bottle

Alcoholism is something that can't be formed in easy terms. Alcoholism as a whole refers to the circumstance whereby there's an obsession in man to keep ingesting beverages with alcohol content which is injurious to health. The circumstance of alcoholism doesn't let the person addicted have any command over ingestion despite being cognizant of the damaging consequences ensuing from it.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment