Date of Award
Master of Art
Objective: Recovering gay alcoholics report that, although the experience of AA is beneficial for them, they have needs different from that of heterosexuals and place dissimilar demands on the program of Alcoholics Anonymous (Ratner, 1988, Paul, Stall, & Bloomfield, 1991). Some of these needs and demands are evidenced in the ways gay alcoholics make use of sponsors, meetings, and gay meetings (Kus, 1987, 1994, Hall, 1994). The present study examines the incidence of relapse and three aspects of recovery: sponsorship, meeting attendance, and attendance at gay meetings during the first year of recovery. Method: A group of gay recovering alcoholics (N = 32) at a gay Twelve-Step recovery clubhouse completed a 36-item questionnaire that examined the features of AA that were most useful for them during their first year of recovery. Results: A significantly higher proportion of Non-relapsers (NR) compared to Relapsers (R) acquired and used sponsors during the first year. This did not hold true for meeting attendance and attendance at gay meetings. Seventeen of the NR's had acquired and used a sponsor during the first year. The same was true for only nine of the R's. Conclusions: The findings support the idea that, for gay recovering alcoholics, the sponsor plays a significant role in the first year of sobriety. Those who work with recovering gay alcoholics or gay alcoholics interested in recovery should urge their clients to acquire and use a sponsor during the first year. Meeting attendance and attendance at gay meetings will probably not be enough to obtain and maintain sobriety.
Riesenmy, Madonna R., "Gays in AA: How Do They Benefit from the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous?" (1998). Theses. 247.
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