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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Helmut H. Reimer

First Committee Member

Robert R. Hopkins

Second Committee Member

LaVon Rupel

Third Committee Member

Leonard R. Billings

Fourth Committee Member

Hugh J. McBride


Social connectedness, learned helplessness, and alienation characteristics as related to graduate/dropout behavior for residents in alcohol abuse programs.

Purpose The purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which a set of predictor variables would discriminate between a group who successfully completed an alcohol substance abusers program from the group who failed i.e. (relapsed) to complete the program. The predictor variables were cognitive and affective measures for social connectedness, learned helplessness, and alienation characteristics. A preliminary step compared the total sample to the norm groups from the FIRO-B and the MMPI.

Sample and Measurements Sixty-three subjects from two intermediate treatment groups from San Joaquin County (CA.) programs were selected as the sample group. Three months sobriety post treatment was selected as the successful completion criterion. The FIROB measured social connectedness, the MMPI measured alcohol addiction, alienation characteristics, and defensive response set. The ASQ was employed to measure "learned helplessness".

Findings One sample t-test disclosed deviance between the sample group and the norm group for five of six scales of social connectedness. The respondents reported less need for inclusion and affection and more "control wanted" than the norm group on indicators from the FIRO-B. The sample also indicated greater addiction (MAC scale), "defensiveness" (validity scales), and alienation characteristics (Pd. clinical scale and Pd. research scales) from the MMPI. The sample group endorsed more familial discord, authority problems, social imperturbability, social alienation, and self-alienation.

Three MMPI measures, the MacAndrew Alcoholism scale, the K scale (defensiveness), and the self-alienation research scale reliably differentiated graduates from dropouts using the t-test for independent means. The highest correlations between variables were indicated for alienation characteristics and defensiveness as indicated by the validity scales. A multiple regression analysis disclosed that addiction (MacAndrew Alcoholism Scale) correlated r = .34 with graduate status.

Conclusions Within this sample those variables most predictive of at risk behavior (relapse potential) were addiction, defensiveness, and self-alienation characteristics. The graduate means were more aberrant than the dropouts in each of these categories.



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