Document Type




Format of Original

7 p.

Publication Date



American Psychological Association

Source Publication

Psychology of Addictive Behavior

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1037/a002222; PubMed Central: PMCID 3132244


The study evaluated how spiritual and religious functioning (SRF), alcohol-related problems, and psychiatric symptoms change over the course of treatment and follow-up. Problem drinkers (n = 55, including 39 males and 16 females) in outpatient treatment were administered questionnaires at pretreatment, posttreatment, and follow up, which assessed two aspects of SRF (religious well-being and existential well-being), two aspects of alcohol misuse (severity and consequences), and two aspects of psychiatric symptoms (depression and anxiety). Significant improvements in SRF, psychiatric symptoms and alcohol misuse were observed from pretreatment to follow-up. Although SRF scores were significantly correlated with psychiatric symptoms at all three time points, improvement in the former did not predict improvement in the latter. When measured at the same time points, SRF scores were not correlated with the measures of alcohol misuse. However, improvement in SRF (specifically in existential well-being) over the course of treatment was predictive of improvement in the alcohol misuse measures at follow-up. These results suggest that the association between SRF, emotional problems, and alcohol misuse is complex. They further suggest that patients who improve spiritual functioning over the course of treatment are more likely to experience improvement in drinking behavior and alcohol-related problems after treatment has ended. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)


Accepted version. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Vol. 25, No. 3 (September 2011): 455-461. DOI. © 2011 American Psychological Association. Used with permission. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.

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