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Perceived Social Support from Counselors and Client Sobriety During Aftercare: A Pilot Study of Emotional and Functional Support

NCJ Number
Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly Volume: 28 Issue: 2 Dated: April-June 2010 Pages: 198-229
Kenneth E. Hart, Ph.D.; Olivia McGarragle, M.A.
Date Published
April 2010
32 pages
This study extends prior research by examining drinking outcomes that are associated with social support provided to clients from within the context of residential treatment.
In an empirical study, it was asked whether client perceptions of the degree of emotional support and functional support provided by counselors during treatment are related to client sobriety during the aftercare phase of clients' recovery. Functional support was assessed using a scale that tapped the degree to which clients felt encouraged to become actively involved in six key components of Alcoholics Anonymous. Results derived from 76 former inpatients showed associations linking abstinence at the point of 2-year follow-up to counselor provision of both kinds of social support in early-stage recovery. Mental health service providers may be able to strengthen their client's long-term ability to maintain sobriety by providing them, in the short term, with high levels of esteem support and abstinence-focused "instrumental" support. References (Published Abstract)