Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Beverly White, PsyD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Stephanie H Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Robert Sterling, PhD


Treatment for alcoholism is a long and difficult process. Identifying variables that aid in treatment completion and retention of its effects is something that continues to be sought after. Research has identified the factors of spirituality, learned helplessness, and abstinence efficacy as some of the variables that can influence a person’s ability to complete treatment successfully (Sterling, Weinstein, Hill, Gottheil, Gordon, & Shorie, 2006). What it has failed to address is whether or not learned helplessness, spirituality, and abstinence efficacy can impact a person’s ability to sustain treatment effects for a period, post treatment. The data for this project were collected in a study conducted by Sterling et al., (2006). The parent study investigated whether or not admission differences in levels of spirituality had an effect on the participants’ abilities to complete treatment and obtain abstinence successfully. The present study will examine whether or not learned helplessness, spirituality, and abstinence efficacy contribute to a patient’s ability to sustain abstinence 3 and 9 months post- treatment.