Spirituality/religiosity promotes acceptance-based responding and 12-step involvement.

BACKGROUND: Previous investigations have observed that spirituality/religiosity (S/R) is associated with enhanced 12-step involvement. However, relatively few studies have attempted to examine the mechanisms for this effect. For the present investigation, we examined whether acceptance-based responding (ABR) – awareness or acknowledgement of internal experiences that allows one to consider and perform potentially adaptive responses – accounted for the effect of S/R on 12-step self-help group involvement 2 years after a treatment episode.

METHODS: Data were collected as part of a multi-site treatment outcome study with 3698 substance-dependent male veterans recruited at baseline. Assessments were conducted at baseline, discharge, 1-year follow-up, and 2-year follow-up. We utilized structural equation modeling to examine the relationships among latent variables of S/R, ABR, and 12-step involvement over time.

RESULTS: In the final model, S/R was not directly related to 12-step involvement at 2-year follow-up. However, S/R predicted enhanced ABR at 1-year follow-up after accounting for discharge levels of ABR. In turn, ABR at 1-year follow-up predicted increased 12-step involvement at 2-year follow-up after accounting for discharge levels of 12-step involvement.

CONCLUSIONS: S/R promotes the use of post-treatment self-regulation skills that, in turn, directly contribute to ongoing 12-step self-help group involvement.

Authors: Carrico AW, Gifford EV, Moos RH. Spirituality/religiosity promotes acceptance-based responding and 12-step involvement. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007 Jun 15;89(1):66-73