Date of Award

7-1-2003

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

School of Social Work

First Advisor

Richard Lyle, Ph D.

Second Advisor

Robert W. Waymer. Ph.D

Third Advisor

Amos A. Ajo. Ph.D

Abstract

This study is based on a comprehensive review of psychosocial factors in alcohol dependency presented by 214 African American and white patients in Grady Memorial Hospital. The purpose of this study was to extend and elaborate descriptive research of psychosocial differences to create and sustain the appropriate prevention and treatment strategies. Therefore, this research relies on Biopsychoecological Integrative Contextual Model that not only permits competing explanations of the etiology and epidemiology but also embarks on prevention and treatment plans. Prevention Research Institute (PRI), George L. Engel, Jerrold S. Maxmen, Nicholas G. Ward and others have presented models of drinking vulnerabilities that have utilized the above model. As an alternative, this study has confirmed the validity of this model, and structured the theoretical and empirical approaches based on its framework. The model serves as a foundation for generating hypotheses and general research questions that are set in the context of ethnic experiences among the races and their psychosocial and environmental factors. Therefore, the contextual information drawn from the above model have guided this research to the following question: will there be any relationship and/or difference between the races (African American and white) regarding psychological (self-esteem, attitude, personality, stress, and logical thinking) and social (lifestyle and legal status) factors in alcohol dependency levels (use, abuse, psychological, and physical)? Furthermore, the null hypotheses postulate that there will be no relationship and/or difference between the races regarding their psychosocial factors in alcohol dependency. The rational for these hypotheses are derived from the literatures which indicate that acculturation strains, conflicts, gaps, stressors, and altered psychological or interpersonal circumstances are related to social disorganization and personal dysfunctionality and, therefore, these processes are conducive to a wide variety of social and behavioral deviances which are high-risk in increasing alcohol use and abuse among the races. The findings, of this study, not only stress the above rational but also mitigate perceptions of risk related to cultural, racial, and ethnical factors that have been speculated to African Americans. Patients' races and alcohol dependency levels (dependent variables) enabled this study to address eight cross-ethnic comparisons and cross-behavioral issues (independent variables). In this study, it was permitted to utilize the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).

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