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Title: Causal attributions for problem drinking : gender differences and predictors of therapeutic outcome
Author: Kellett, Susan K.
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2002
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The aims of the research are to investigate gender differences in causal attributions for problem drinking in clients first presenting to treatment services, and to consider whether attributional style is related to therapeutic outcome. This study employs an independent samples design plus correlational measures, utilising self-administered questionnaires, the sample consisting of 64 new referrals to the alcohol services (33 men, 31 women). Research suggests that women may make more external attributions for problem drinking than men. Causal attributions are considered in terms of items regarding perceptions of alcohol as a problem, plus the attributional dimensions of the revised Causal Dimension Scale. Women were less likely than the men to feel alcohol was the root of their problems, but there were no gender differences in terms of the attributional dimensions. It is suggested that findings may indicate changes in gender-related social stereotypes, leading to a convergence in the attributions of male and female problems drinkers. Evidence is presented from previous research to support this explanation. Research suggests that perceptions of high internal control will be associated with positive therapeutic outcome; high external control and high stability with negative outcome. Using the Alcohol Abstinence Self-Efficacy Scale and the Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale to predict the therapeutic outcome it was found that higher internal control was related to more favourable indicators, higher stability with less favourable indicators, with no relationship in terms of external control. It is concluded that different interventions need to be used for men and women as they see the root of their problems differently. In addition, therapy could aim to increase perceptions of internal control and decrease perceptions of stability. Results also demonstrate the necessity of using multi-dimensional measures when assessing casual attributions, and suggestions are made for the use of such measures in clinical work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available