Development and Preliminary Validation of the Co-Addiction Scale
Addiction is an insidious disease that not only impacts the individual using drugs or alcohol, but the entire family system and society. Despite the systemic impact, the primary focus of research and treatment, as it relates to addiction or substance use disorders (SUDs) tends to be heavily individualized. While the systemic effects of addiction are largely neglected in treatment and research, the etiological factors that may contribute to the development of addiction also lack the inclusion of a systemic paradigm. The intention of this study was to begin the preliminary theoretical development and empirical support for a co-addiction scale, designed to further examine the dysfunctional relationship dynamics that occur when addiction is present within a system. Exploratory Factor Analyses were used to identify the common factors, guided by theory, that explain the co-addiction construct. Confirmatory Factor Analyses and Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling were used to further explore the identified factors and how they relate to other variables, such as gender, history of addiction, and relationship to a loved one with a SUD. This paper also offers guiding theoretical justification, clinical implications, and discussion on future directions.