Alcoholism, a serious issue is widespread and not restricted only to a certain group, culture or country. Universally it creates professional, social, financial, legal, medical, psychological, and familial problems. The cost of alcoholism to the society is staggering by any account. Lost working days, accidents and related disability, family disruptions and resulting juvenile problems, and direct medical complications of alcohol abuse add up to a significant proportion of loss to nations` economy and well being. Alcoholism thus becomes a complex phenomenon deserving attention from different angles.
Studies have revealed that alcoholic” families acquire certain typical coping strategies within the family system (Orford et.al., 1975, Glassner and Loughlin, 1987). This invariably evokes further stress, feelings of hopelessness, withdrawnness and depression in alcoholics. Thus, a vicious cycle of alcohol, stress and maladjustment is found to exist. In the post de-addiction treatment phase, this situation is expected to change. The treatment as such and its positive outcome should bring in a new atmosphere to the family. In spite of differences, all treatment modalities for de-addiction aims at improved family relations and better social adjustments. A positive change in adjustment skills is necessary to keep the person sober after treatment. Psychotherapy, practice of relaxation, family counseling, rehabilitation counseling, and group therapies are deferent methods of attaining this goal. Do these techniques work in the long run? Does participation in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings modify a person’s adjustment skills?
The present study therefore attempts to investigate the nature of change in Maladjustment among alcoholic patients in the immediate three years following de-addiction treatment.
The central theme of the present investigation is to study the nature of maladjustment among alcoholics in the immediate three years following de-addiction treatment.
1. To find out maladjustment among alcoholics in the immediate three years following de-addiction treatment.
2. To find out whether deferent treatment methods, viz. regular attendance to AA meetings and practice of relaxation are effective in modifying the maladjustment patterns present in alcoholics in the immediate three years following de-addiction treatment.
Sample of the study consisted of 166 male alcoholics admitted in deferent de_addiction centers in Kerala. Their age ranged from 26 to 53 (mean 34, SD12.5). All subjects belonged to middle socio economic class. Duration of alcohol consumption ranged from 4 to 23 yrs. (mean 14.5, SD 9.6)
Mathew Maladjustment Inventory
Mathew maladjustment inventory (MMI), assesses five major aspects of maladjustment viz., anxiety, depression, mania, inferiority, and paranoia. The test is reported to have high degree of content validity. The coefficient of reliability (split half) of the subscales ranged from 0.6 to 0.9, the total score having a reliability of 0.9 (Mathew, 1975)
Present investigation is an experimental study with two independent variables and a dependent variable. First independent variable is the participation Ss in AA meetings, Second independent variable is the Relaxation training given to the Ss.Dependent variable is General Maladjustment.
A sample of 166 alcoholics who were admitted for de-addiction treatment was chosen for the study. Out of the sample,60 Ss were randomly assigned to the first group ( Exp Gr.1,regular participation in AA meetings) ,another 60 Ss were randomly assigned to the second group (Exp Gr.2, regular practice of relaxation).The second group was given training on relaxation techniques, viz. Jacobson’s relaxation and Benson`s relaxation, and were advised to continue it regularly. Rest of the sample, (n 46) was kept as control group.
MMI was administered to the whole sample at the time of admission and base line data on maladjustment was obtained. During the study, Ss were assessed on maladjustment, after 2 months, 1 year, 2 year and 3 year periods. The final sample consisted of only those subjects who were regular for follow-ups. Exp Gr.1, Exp Gr.2, and control group for final analysis consisted of 46, 48, and 32 Ss respectively. It may be noted that the size were 60, 60, and 46 respectively for the three groups.
3 X 5 Univariate analysis was conducted on scores on maladjustment among the three groups during the three year period. A graph was plotted.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
Results are presented in tables 1 and 2.There is no significant difference among groups on their scores on general maladjustment. However the scores were found varying significantly across duration of treatment. (F=72.5, P<0.01). Interaction between treatment and duration was also found significant. (F=3, P<0.01).
The three groups do not vary significantly on general maladjustment. This result reveals that the two treatments given, viz. regular attendance to AA meetings and practice of relaxation do not influence Sis scores differently. Irrespective of treatments, the three groups vary significantly on their scores on general maladjustment across time. This shows that there is significant reduction in general maladjustment following de-addiction treatment. The interaction between treatment and duration was found to be significant. Treatment has interacted with duration to bring down general maladjustment over a period of three years.
Insert Table 1 & Table 2
Considering the mean scores on general maladjustment among the three groups over a period of three years, (refer graph) experimental groups were found scoring lower on general maladjustment compared to the control group.
Irrespective of treatments, Experimental Group 1(attending AA meetings regularly), Experimental Group 2 (practicing relaxation) and the control group show reduction in general maladjustment in the first two months of treatment. But among the Ss in the experimental groups, general maladjustment comes down further. This can be a general effect of the treatment given to these groups. It should also be noted that significant level of interaction has been found to exist between treatment and duration, which influences the scores on general maladjustment.
While attending the different educational sessions and group meetings in AA, one obtains more insight in to his problems and learns better coping strategies to situation which previously evoked situations of general maladjustment. Mutual trust and caring, unconditional surrender before the Almighty and frank discussions of emotional, social and adjustment problems which are unique to AA should have brought down S`s scores on general maladjustment. The twelve steps followed by AA, give much concern to the feelings of others. It encourages one to make a list of whomever he has harmed and to make amends to them. This attitude which is a unique feature of AA also accounts for reduction of maladjustments.