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NCJ Number: 193647 Find in a Library
Title: Role of Shame in Women's Recovery from Alcoholism: The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Journal: Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions  Volume:1  Issue:4  Dated:2001  Pages:101-116
Author(s): Shelly A. Wiechelt; Esther Sales
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and the difficulty in recovery experienced by some female members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
Abstract: The hypotheses were that women in recovery who reported having experienced childhood sexual abuse: (1) would have higher levels of internalized shame than women in recovery not reporting such experiences; and (2) would report more difficulties in recovery than would women not reporting childhood sexual abuse. Also, women experiencing more shame would have more difficulty in recovery than women who were less shame-filled. The interview study examined the experiences of 53 alcoholic women in recovery, who were members of AA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Participants who reported a history of childhood sexual abuse were compared to members who did not report a history of childhood sexual abuse on internalized shame, relapse, and social adjustment in recovery. Results showed that internalized shame appeared to be an important treatment issue for many women who were alcoholics. A high level of shame was common to women in the sample, regardless of their sexual abuse experiences during childhood. There was a strong association between internalized shame and difficulty in recovery. Women with higher shame scores had more problems with social adjustment during recovery, as well as greater likelihood of relapse. Shame scores were lower for those who were further along in recovery. The results indicated that women with alcoholism who were experiencing problematic levels of internalized shame in recovery, regardless of its origin, were at higher risk for relapse and would have reduced quality of life in recovery. The shame experienced by women with alcoholism may arise from multiple sources. Additional research is needed to delineate the sources of shame and identify the unique contribution each source gives to the shame experience. 51 references
Main Term(s): Alcoholics; Females; Psychological evaluation
Index Term(s): Adult survivors of child sexual abuse; Alcoholism treatment programs; Child Sexual Abuse; Ego development; Mental health; Self evaluation
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