Breaking good: breaking ties with social groups may be good for recovery from substance misuse

Dingle, Genevieve A., Stark, Claire, Cruwys, Tegan and Best, David (2014) Breaking good: breaking ties with social groups may be good for recovery from substance misuse. British Journal of Social Psychology, 1-19. doi:10.1111/bjso.12081

Author Dingle, Genevieve A.
Stark, Claire
Cruwys, Tegan
Best, David
Title Breaking good: breaking ties with social groups may be good for recovery from substance misuse
Journal name British Journal of Social Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2044-8309
Publication date 2014-09-11
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/bjso.12081
Open Access Status
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract According to the Social Identity Model of Identity Change, maintaining social identities and support over time is good for health and well-being, particularly during stressful transitions. However, in this study we explore the circumstances under which maintaining social identities – such as ‘substance user’ – may be harmful to health, and when a successful transition constitutes identity change, rather than maintenance. This prospective study examined social identities of 132 adults entering a drug and alcohol therapeutic community (TC) at admission, three fortnightly intervals and exit, as well as a representative subsample of 60 participants at follow-up. Repeated measures ANOVA results showed that user identity decreased significantly over time, such that 76% of the sample decreased in user identity strength over the first month in the TC. At the same time, recovery identity ratings increased significantly over time, with 64% of the sample staying the same or increasing their recovery identity ratings over the first month. Identity change, indexed by the change in the difference score between user identity and recovery identity over the treatment period, accounted for 34% of the variance in drinking quantity, 41% of the variance in drinking frequency, 5% of the variance in other drug use frequency, and 49% of the variance in life satisfaction at follow-up, after accounting for initial substance abuse severity and social identity ratings at entry to the TC. The findings indicate that moving from a substance using identity towards a recovery identity constitutes an important step in substance abuse treatment.
Keyword Social identity change
Substance use disorders
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 11 September 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 26 Sep 2014, 12:57:21 EST by Tegan Cruwys on behalf of School of Psychology