Change processes and variables in family recovery from addiction
Bradshaw, Spencer D.
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Addiction is a disease that impacts family members along with the addict. Despite intentions to maintain family stability, chronic exposure to the disease of addiction can lead to psychological, emotional, and behavioral pathology for family members. Family members therefore have need of individual recovery before the family unit might more effectively support the recovering addict. Nevertheless, research is limited on addiction’s impact on the family, and still more meager in regard to family member recovery. The recovery of a family member likely has similarities to the recovery of an addict. Family members may similarly experience a process of finding hope, becoming ready to change (RTC), and finding healthy coping skills that maintain change. In this way family members might increase both individual and family functioning. How this process might occur over time for a family member has not been examined. The current set of studies propose to examine relationships between family members’ hope, RTC, and coping skills during early recovery as well as how RTC impacts family functioning. Two structural equation modeling (SEM) longitudinal panel models will examine the hypotheses that: 1) Family member hope positively associates with subsequent family member RTC and coping, RTC positively associates with subsequent hope and coping, and coping positively associates with subsequent hope and RTC, and 2) Family member RTC positively associates with subsequent family functioning which will reciprocally and simultaneously positively associate with RTC. Information about family member recovery and its influence on the family unit confronted with the disease of addiction is important. Implications for clinicians and future recovery research will be discussed.