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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1997 May;23(2):191-205.

Sources of motivation in a couples outpatient alcoholism treatment program.

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Center of Alcohol Studies, Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, USA.


This study examines sources of motivation to seek treatment. Participants were 105 male alcoholics and their non-alcoholic female partners who participated in a study of three different approaches to the conjoint treatment of alcoholism. Participants' sources of motivation were coded from responses to questions at the initial clinical screening interview. Sources of motivation were classified as "internal" or "external." More participants had internal sources of motivation (74%) than external sources. Participants with internal sources of motivation scored higher on the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test than participants with external sources of motivation, but did not differ on other measures of pretreatment severity of alcohol problems. About half of the participants (53%) cited their partner as a primary source of motivation to seek treatment. Other sources of motivation cited were: increasing problems with alcohol, mental health problems, and physical health problems. There was greater variability among internal sources of motivation than among external sources of motivation. Participants' partners but not the male participants themselves, experienced an increase in marital satisfaction from pre- to within-treatment when the participant was motivated to come to treatment by his partner.

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