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Friends, Family, and Alcohol Abuse: An Examination of General and Alcohol-Specific Social Support

Authors

  • David R. Groh BA,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
      Center for Community Research, 990 W. Fullerton Ave., DePaul University, Chicago, IL 60614. dgroh@depaul.edu
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  • Leonard A. Jason PhD,

    1. Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Margaret I. Davis PhD,

    1. Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
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    • Dr. Davis is currently at the Department of Psychology, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. Dr. Olson is currently at the Foley Center for the Study of Lives, Northwestern University, Evanston, ILL. Dr. Ferrari is currently at the Department of Psychology, DePaul University, Chicago, ILL.

  • Bradley D. Olson PhD,

    1. Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
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    • Dr. Davis is currently at the Department of Psychology, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. Dr. Olson is currently at the Foley Center for the Study of Lives, Northwestern University, Evanston, ILL. Dr. Ferrari is currently at the Department of Psychology, DePaul University, Chicago, ILL.

  • Joseph R. Ferrari PhD

    1. Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
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    • Dr. Davis is currently at the Department of Psychology, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. Dr. Olson is currently at the Foley Center for the Study of Lives, Northwestern University, Evanston, ILL. Dr. Ferrari is currently at the Department of Psychology, DePaul University, Chicago, ILL.


  • Portions of this paper were taken from the unpublished Master's Thesis of the first author.

Center for Community Research, 990 W. Fullerton Ave., DePaul University, Chicago, IL 60614. dgroh@depaul.edu

Abstract

Social support may be considered from several different dimensions. While general social support promotes well-being, specific social support is tied to particular functions, such as alcohol use. Not only may the form of social support vary, but also the source (ie, friends vs. family). This study investigated the impact of general and specific support for alcohol use from family versus friends on alcohol use among 897 U.S. residents of abstinent communal-living settings (Oxford Houses). Results indicated that general support from friends and length of stay in Oxford House significantly predicted less alcohol use. Implications for alcohol recovery are discussed.

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