Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Clinical Psychology


Department of Psychology


Previous research has shown that many factors are related to premature termination of chemical dependency treatment. Given the amount of money, time and energy that is devoted to the early stages of treatment, an accurate way of identifying those likely to terminate prematurely is needed. The present study had four purposes. First, the hypothesis was investigated that as abuse becomes more severe, subjective distress and codependency will become more pronounced. Second, multiple factors were investigated in relation to attrition from residential chemical dependency treatment. These factors included severity of alcohol and drug abuse, subjective distress, feelings of worthlessness, mistrust of others, and codependency. Third, the hypothesis was investigated that clients who terminate treatment prematurely are more likely to score higher in criminality. The fourth purpose was to explore race as a factor related to attrition. iii Fifty-four clients of a residential treatment program were administered the SASSI or SASSI-2 (Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory) as part of the intake procedure. The results indicated that severity of abuse is positively correlated with subjective distress, but negatively correlated with codependency, as measured by the SASSI/SASSI-2. None of the investigated factors were found to contribute either alone or in combination to the variance in length of stay. Criminality was not found to be related to length of stay. Racial differences were not found in severity of abuse nor in length of stay. Additional interscale correlations were found for the SASSI/SASSI-2. It is believed that the codependency measure may be measuring aspects of denial. It is also believed that significant inter-correlations between scales and low variability in scale scores may have affected the results in terms of factors related to length of stay. Suggestions for future research are discussed, including the use of matched controls, and additional measures of the factors under investigation.


Substance abuse Treatment

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Copyright © 1996, author