An examination of purpose in life in alcohol-dependent clients

Robert F. Tilton (2005)

This study investigated the construct of Purpose in Life (PIL) in a sample of treatment-seeking alcohol-dependent clients. Data for this study comes from the Project MATCH (Matching Alcohol Treatments to Client Heterogeneity) public dataset. Participants ( N = 1726) were randomly assigned to receive Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, or Twelve-Step Facilitation Therapy for 12 weeks. Follow-up assessments were completed at 3-month intervals for one year post-treatment. Path analysis was used to explore the potential mediating role of PIL in the relationship between involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and two drinking outcomes, percentage of days abstinent (PDA) and average number of drinks per drinking day (DDD). Results indicated that, at both the 3-month and 1-year follow-ups, AAI was significantly related to PIL, which was associated with positive drinking outcomes. However, full criteria for mediation were not met for any of the models, suggesting that additional variables are important in this relationship. Results from this study provide further support for the importance of addressing meaning in life issues in treatment approaches for alcohol use disorders. In addition, these findings suggest that PIL is one of the "active ingredients" underlying the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous.