ERIC Number: ED159520
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
Debilitating Attributions of the Woman Alcoholic Undergoing Treatment.
Frieze, Irene H.; McHugh, Maureen C.
Alcoholism is becoming an increasingly significant problem for women. At one time, women rarely drank and the female alcoholic was an anomaly. Estimates of the total number of women alcoholics in the United States today are over 900,000. Women now constitute from 20 to 35% of all alcoholics in this country. This paper attempts to gain understanding of psychological factors which may underlie female alcoholism. The approach used was to apply a theoretical model derived from social psychology: attribution theory. In order to assess causal attributions, expectancies, and affect, a group of alcoholics were asked to state their causal attributions for a number of success or failure achievement and interpersonal situations. Their responses were compared with those of the general population. The alcoholic sample included 41 male and 28 female recovering alcoholics in a halfway house treatment center. The nonalcoholic sample included 31 males and 33 females recruited from neighborhoods similar to the former neighborhoods of the alcoholic subjects. Alcoholics of both sexes saw success most resulting from effort. Female alcoholics saw failure as more due to their personalities than to lack of effort. Employment seemed to be a particularly important situation for understanding alcoholic attributions. (Author/JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (DHEW/PHS), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (San Francisco, California, August 26-30, 1977)