Longitudinal Differences in Spirituality and Religiousness between Men and Women in Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorders

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Abstract

This study compares men and women with alcohol use disorders on levels and trajectories of spirituality and religiousness over 30 months while controlling for critical covariates. Men (n 92) and women (n 65) entering abstinence-based treatment were assessed for drinking behavior, spirituality, and psychosocial variables in a longitudinal panel study. Multiple regression tested for baseline differences and multilevel models tested for differences from baseline to 6 months (early recovery) and from 6 to 30 months (later recovery) in 7 dimensions of spirituality/religiousness. Between baseline and 6 months, women had higher scores than men for forgiveness of others and lower scores than men for negative religious coping. Between 6 and 30 months, the acceleration of positive change in self-forgiveness was significantly greater for women than men. Differences in negative religious coping and forgiveness might relate to differences in shame and guilt and their resolution by gender. Future research should examine whether gender differences in spirituality serve as an asset to women as they pursue addiction recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S11-S21
JournalPsychology of Religion and Spirituality
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Grants R01 AA014442 and R21 AA019723 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, grant 2UL1TR000433 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and partially by Grant DA035882 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of NCATS or the National Institutes of Health. With thanks to Wendy Haight, Susanne Lee, Monica Sharratt, and Ken Winters for their valuable comments on drafts of this article and thanks to Libby Robinson who provided helpful background information about the parent study.

Keywords

  • alcohol use disorder
  • gender
  • recovery
  • spirituality

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