Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Frederick Rotgers, Psy.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Robert Sterling, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Virginia Salzer, Ph.D.


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has long been the major treatment of choice in the United States for individuals with alcohol related problems. Research on AA has had methodological problems and there is no clear evidence that AA in and of itself is effective in treating alcohol problems. Treatment studies on alcohol and substance users have found that abstinence self-efficacy and approach coping skills have been related to improved drinking outcomes. Also, depression and alcohol problems have been shown to be highly correlated with each other. Therefore, this study examined the relationship between participation in AA and improvements in abstinence self-efficacy, learned helplessness, and depression. One hundred and four individuals who enrolled in inpatient treatment for alcohol dependence were assessed at admission for depression, self-efficacy, learned helplessness, and alcohol-related problems. These were also assessed at end of treatment and 2 month follow-up along with participation in AA. Minimal findings were found for the impact of AA on any psychosocial variables.