Self-reliant resolution among problem drinkers
Anderson, Melody M.
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This study investigated differences in cognitive style between problem drinkers who resolve their difficulties with alcohol on their own and those who resort to treatment. Explored was the relationship between cognitive style, operationalized as field dependence/independence, as formulated by Herman Witkin, and self-reliant resolution, operationalized as non-intervention of formal and informal treatment.;Two major questions were addressed: Is cognitive style a significant variable of untreated problem drinkers and is an individual's cognitive style a relevant variable in his ability to resolve his drinking problems without the assistance of others? The major hypothesis tested was whether there was a positive association between self-reliant resolution and field independent cognitive style.;The method of study was exploratory and descriptive. Respondents were recruited in the greater New York metropolitan area, utilizing newspaper advertising and snowball sampling. The non-probability sample consisted of one hundred and four eligible male respondents between the ages of 25--55. Using the Embedded Figures Test (EFT) respondents were identified as field independent (n = 26) and field dependent (n = 26) for a total N = 52.;The findings were that cognitive style was not a significant variable in determining whether or not respondents resolved their drinking problems on their own. However, an association was found in the expected direction. In addition, an attempt was made to develop a social profile of field independent persons who are self-reliant in resolving their drinking problem. The study points to the value of further research with a larger sample. A discussion of the findings and suggestions for future research are offered.