Spirituality, religiousness, and alcoholism treatment outcomes: A comparison between black and white participants

Amy R. Krentzman, Kathleen J. Farkas, Aloen L. Townsend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This study addresses an unexplained finding in the alcoholism treatment field: despite the health and socioeconomic disparities that exist between Blacks and Whites at intake, Blacks and Whites achieve equivalent treatment outcomes. Using Project MATCH data, this study explores religiousness and spirituality as strengths in the African American community that may account in part for equivalent outcomes. Using binary logistic regression, this study found that as purpose in life increased, Blacks were more likely to achieve sobriety than Whites. This study provides evidence that purpose in life is a cultural strength and an advantage among Blacks in achieving sobriety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-150
Number of pages23
JournalAlcoholism Treatment Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by the Jane B. Aron Doctoral Fellowship of the National Association of Social Workers and by a T32 training grant of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The first author thanks the anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments, with thanks also to Elizabeth E. A. Robinson and Jim Cranford. The authors acknowledge that the reported results are, in whole or in part, based on analyses of the Project MATCH Public Data Set. These data were collected as part of a multisite clinical trial of alcoholism treatments supported by a series of grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and made available to the authors by the Project MATCH Research Group. This article has not been reviewed nor endorsed by the Project MATCH Research Group and does not necessarily represent the opinions of its members, who are not responsible for the contents.


  • African Americans
  • Alcoholism
  • Race
  • Religiousness
  • Spirituality
  • Treatment outcomes


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