Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Application of Science of Positive Psychology for Enhancing Quality of Life of Alcoholic's Spouse

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Application of Science of Positive Psychology for Enhancing Quality of Life of Alcoholic's Spouse

Article excerpt

Alcoholism is an addictive dependency on alcohol characterised by craving, loss of control, physical dependence and withdrawal. Alcoholism is known as a family disease because it is responsible for more family problems than any other single cause. Alcoholism is negatively affecting the psychosocial areas of family members especially spouse of alcoholics. Alcoholism is the root cause of their psychosocial depletion.

As per DSM IV TR (2000) a need for daily use of large amounts of alcohol for adequate functioning, a regular pattern of heavy drinking limited to weekends, and a long periods of sobriety interspersed with binges of heavy alcohol intake lasting for weeks or months strongly suggest alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse.

Several researches have contributed substantially to our understanding of the relation of drinking to specific disorders, and have shown that the relation between alcohol consumption and health outcomes is complex and multidimensional.

There are several studies to ascertain and analyze the understanding, that the wives of alcoholic husbands have about life, reveals that the dominant meaning of "suffering", attributed by the women, is determined by the social and cultural environment, reflecting their cultural values and behaviors. (Enfermagem, 2005)

Recent study was done to find out the impact of partner alcohol problems on women's physical and mental health .The method of analysis is based on data from the Wave 1 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a cross-sectional, retrospective survey of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults 18 years of age and older. The results reveal that partner alcohol problems pose diverse health threats for women that go beyond their well-documented association with domestic violence. Mood, anxiety, stress, general health, and quality-of-life problems should be addressed by groups that provide couples' treatment or counseling to female partners of alcoholics. (Dawson etal., 2007)

Another study was undertaken to find out the effectiveness of three types of spouse-involved behavioral alcoholism treatment. Treatment was provided to 45 alcoholics and their spouses in one of three out-patient behavioral treatment conditions: (1) minimal spouse involvement (MSI) (n =14), (2) alcohol-focused spouse involvement (AFSI) (n =12), or (3) alcohol-focused spouse involvement plus behavioral marital therapy (ABMT) (n = 19). Subjects were followed for 18 months after treatment. Subjects in all conditions reported significant decreases in frequency of drinking and frequency of heavy drinking, and reported increased life satisfaction. (McCrady etal., 1991)

Several studies were done to find out the personality characteristics of wives of alcoholics conducted for assessment of personality characteristic using EPI and 16 PF on wives of 30 primary alcoholics. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups on EPI and scores were within normal limits. Both the groups had a similar profile scores on 16 PF being submissive, timid, trustful, conventional, conservative, and poised. These findings were not in favour of the concept of "Pathological wives" causing alcoholism in their husbands as advocated by some western studies. Personality characteristics of our sample in general were significantly different from normative data for western women, where the latter were more dominant, and self-sufficient. Implications of these findings are discussed in the light of our socio-cultural context ( Rao & Kuruvilla, 2001 ).

A Comparative study of health problems between wives of alcoholics and control wives was done. This study involves an analysis of health problems and psychosomatic disorders between wives of alcoholics and those of non-alcoholics. The results were briefly summarized as follows: 1. The most obvious health problem of wives of alcoholics with an incidence significantly higher than that of wives of non-alcoholics was genital disease; 13. …

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