Alcoholics Anonymous: A Vehicle for Achieving Capacity for Secure Attachment Relationships and Adaptive Affect Regulation is published in The Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions and contains a theoretical look at the thinking that led to my dissertation questions.


My dissertation research is a longitudinal study that explores how involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) for a 90 day period affects an individual's capacity for affect regulation and the quality of their interpersonal relationships.

Data were collected from 18 participants on two different occasions, pre- and post- a 90 day involvement in AA. A demographic questionnaire and two self report scales, Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ) and Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), were administered after an initial semi-structured interview at both data points. The construct of quality of relationships was measured by the ASQ and the construct of adaptive affect regulation was measured by the DERS.

The hypothesised differences in both ASQ and DERS were confirmed by the statistically significant differences in the mean scores on each subscale and supported the findings of the qualitative data that suggest individuals' capacity for adaptive affect regulation and the quality of their interpersonal relationships improved after being involved in AA for 90 days.

Future research will include more comprehensive studies using both qualitative and quantitative analysis with larger sample sizes on the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.