Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The role of identity and self-esteem in substance misuse recovery : an IPA analysis
Author: Coutsoudis, Katherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 3222
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Research in the substance misuse field tends to focus on the causes of addiction and why people misuse drugs or alcohol. Often, research provides an understanding of substance abuse and its etiology through reference to the different models of addiction. Limited attention is given to the complex nature of developing substance abuse and the process of `addiction' and recovery and what these processes mean to individuals having lived through addiction and recovery. Existing qualitative research shows that identity change and changes in self-esteem are important constructs in the recovery from addiction (Etherington, 2006; Kellogg, 1993; Koski-Jannes, 2002; Larkin &Griffiths, 2002; McIntosh & McKeganey, 2001; McIntosh & McKeganey, 2000; Shinebourne & Smith, 2009; Vaughn & Long, 1999; Weegmann & Piwowoz-Hjort, 2009). This research explores the lived experiences of 8 participants who are recovering or have recovered from addiction to substances, focussing particularly on how changes in identity and self-esteem may facilitate recovery and contribute to its maintenance. The data were analysed using the IPA (Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis) approach. The interpretation of the data suggests that early experiences such as loss of relationships, conditions of worth and an unstable identity may play an important role in understanding vulnerability to developing substance misuse and that identity issues and self-esteem are key features in this understanding. Theories of identity development offer an understanding into the difficulties that individuals may face in constructing an integrated and healthy identity and what factors influence healthy identity development. Themes revealed during the data analysis suggest that the role of identity transformation is constructed through a meaning making process in which change becomes possible, thus facilitating the recovery process. Furthermore, a transition to a healthy identity increases self-esteem and facilitates the maintenance of recovery. This has implications for those involved in the treatment of addictions, for example, Counselling Psychologists. More effective treatment may involve an understanding of the importance of identity and self-esteem in recovery and the ways in which both therapist and client can co-construct the meanings that client's attach to their experiences of addiction and recovery.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available