Spirituality/religiosity promotes acceptance-based responding and 12-step involvement

Adam W. Carrico, Elizabeth V. Gifford, Rudolf H. Moos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: Previous investigations have observed that spirituality/religiosity (S/R) is associated with enhanced 12-step involvement. However, relatively few studies have attempted to examine the mechanisms for this effect. For the present investigation, we examined whether acceptance-based responding (ABR) - awareness or acknowledgement of internal experiences that allows one to consider and perform potentially adaptive responses - accounted for the effect of S/R on 12-step self-help group involvement 2 years after a treatment episode. Methods: Data were collected as part of a multi-site treatment outcome study with 3698 substance-dependent male veterans recruited at baseline. Assessments were conducted at baseline, discharge, 1-year follow-up, and 2-year follow-up. We utilized structural equation modeling to examine the relationships among latent variables of S/R, ABR, and 12-step involvement over time. Results: In the final model, S/R was not directly related to 12-step involvement at 2-year follow-up. However, S/R predicted enhanced ABR at 1-year follow-up after accounting for discharge levels of ABR. In turn, ABR at 1-year follow-up predicted increased 12-step involvement at 2-year follow-up after accounting for discharge levels of 12-step involvement. Conclusions: S/R promotes the use of post-treatment self-regulation skills that, in turn, directly contribute to ongoing 12-step self-help group involvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-73
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 15 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Acceptance-based responding
  • Coping
  • Religiosity
  • Spirituality
  • Substance use disorders
  • Twelve-step

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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