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ERIC Number: EJ948174
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 70
ISSN: ISSN-1557-1874
Personal Construct Theory and the Transformation of Identity in Alcoholics Anonymous
Young, Lance Brendan
International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, v9 n6 p709-722 Dec 2011
The dominant theoretical approach to alcoholism research presumes linear, causal relationships between individual cognitions and behavioral outcomes. This approach has largely failed to account for the recovery some alcoholics achieve in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) because AA emphasizes the transformation of identity, framed in terms of relationships rather than cognitions and behaviors. George Kelly's personal construct theory (PCT) provides a ready means of theorizing that transformation by explaining how AA helps alcoholics resolve four identity-relevant dialectics. The basic postulate of PCT addresses changes in stigma: normal vs. deviant identity. The construction corollary illustrates changes in perspective: subjective vs. objective view of identity. The individuality corollary informs changes in affiliation: unique vs. common identity. And the organization corollary illuminates changes in stability: fluctuating vs. permanent identity. As an alternative to causal approaches focusing on cognition and behavior, PCT should facilitate further research into alcoholism as a disorder of identity transformation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A