Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Couples therapy can be the best choice for alcohol-dependent women with supportive spouses

Date:
April 20, 2010
Source:
Rutgers University
Summary:
A woman who wants to break her dependence on alcohol, and has a spouse willing to join her in that fight, has a real chance for success.

Barbara McCrady and Elizabeth Epstein wanted to know whether cognitive behavior therapy worked better for alcohol-dependent women when delivered as couples therapy than when delivered as individual therapy. They reported recently that both treatment methods worked well, but women treated in couples therapy maintained their gains a bit better than those in individual therapy. Also, women suffering from depression in addition to alcohol-dependence did better in couples therapy. Their paper appeared recently in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

Related Articles


Epstein is an associate research professor at the Center of Alcohol Studies. McCrady, formerly a professor of psychology at Rutgers, now directs the University of New Mexico's Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addictions.

Alcohol use disorders hit women particularly hard, physically and psychologically. Epstein and McCrady cite earlier studies' findings that between 4 and 8 percent of women under age 44 are alcohol-dependent, that as many as 65 percent of alcohol-dependent women have some additional psychiatric disorder, and that women are less likely to seek treatment for alcoholism than men. Alcohol-dependent women have high rates of distressed marriages and not much support from members of their social networks when they try to break that dependence. Until recently, there has not been much research on unique treatments for alcohol use disorders in women.

McCrady and Epstein recruited 102 women with newspaper ads and referrals from other alcohol treatment programs. They were looking for women who were alcohol-dependent, married or in a committed relationship with a man for at least six months, and whose male partners were willing to participate in therapy.

Both groups received 20 out-patient sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy over six months, for which the goal was abstinence from alcohol. Seven therapists, all trained both in individual and couples therapy, saw the clients. After the 20 sessions,, each participant received follow-up interviews on the phone and in person for another year. For each woman in each of the 18 months of the study, researchers calculated the percentage of days abstinent and the percentage of days of heavy (more than three drinks in a day) drinking.

Nearly half the women started abstaining before the first treatment session, the researchers wrote. For the first month of treatment, the abstinence rate for women still drinking in both groups rose sharply -- more sharply for women in couples therapy, perhaps because they had a slightly lower rate of abstention to start with. During the year following treatment, the women in couples treatment reported fewer heavy drinking days than women in individual treatment.

The researchers concluded that there is a widespread need for specific treatments for alcohol- dependent women, and that social support for change is important. However, not all women have spouses, and not all spouses are supportive. Epstein and McCrady are currently recruiting women for another study comparing individual and group therapy. Participants needn't be married or in a committed relationship for this study. Interested participants can call 732 445- 0900.

These studies are funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rutgers University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rutgers University. "Couples therapy can be the best choice for alcohol-dependent women with supportive spouses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100420142037.htm>.
Rutgers University. (2010, April 20). Couples therapy can be the best choice for alcohol-dependent women with supportive spouses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100420142037.htm
Rutgers University. "Couples therapy can be the best choice for alcohol-dependent women with supportive spouses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100420142037.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Binge-Watching TV Linked To Loneliness

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Researchers at University of Texas at Austin found a link between binge-watching TV shows and feelings of loneliness and depression. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

Signs You Might Be The Passive Aggressive Friend

BuzzFeed (Jan. 28, 2015) "No, I&apos;m not mad. Why, are you mad?" Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins