Social identity, social networks and recovery capital in emerging adulthood: a pilot study

Mawson, E., Best, D., Beckwith, M., Dingle, G. A. and Lubman, D. I. (2015) Social identity, social networks and recovery capital in emerging adulthood: a pilot study. Substance Abuse: Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 10 1: 1-11. doi:10.1186/s13011-015-0041-2

Author Mawson, E.
Best, D.
Beckwith, M.
Dingle, G. A.
Lubman, D. I.
Title Social identity, social networks and recovery capital in emerging adulthood: a pilot study
Journal name Substance Abuse: Treatment, Prevention, and Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1747-597X
Publication date 2015-11-11
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s13011-015-0041-2
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 10
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Place of publication London United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Language eng
Formatted abstract
It has been argued that recovery from substance dependence relies on a change in identity, with past research focused on ‘personal identity’. This study assessed support for a social identity model of recovery in emerging adults through examining associations between social identity, social networks, recovery capital, and quality of life.

Twenty participants aged 18–21 in residential treatment for substance misuse were recruited from four specialist youth drug treatment services - three detoxification facilities and one psychosocial rehabilitation facility in Victoria, Australia. Participants completed a detailed social network interview exploring the substance use of groups in their social networks and measures of quality of life, recovery capital, and social identity.

Lower group substance use was associated with higher recovery capital, stronger identification with non-using groups, and greater importance of non-using groups in the social network. Additionally, greater identification with and importance of non-using groups were associated with better environmental quality of life, whereas greater importance conferred on using groups was associated with reduced environmental quality of life.

Support was found for the role of social identity processes in reported recovery capital and quality of life. Future research in larger, longitudinal samples is required to improve understanding of social identity processes during treatment and early recovery and its relationship to recovery stability.
Keyword Social network
Social identity
Emerging adult
Substance use
Quality of life
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research Publications
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 9 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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