Mary Kay Elsner
Grand Canyon University
April 19, 2014
Experimentation Review Paper
As a researcher one must understand the differences in independent variables, extraneous variables, and how to conduct research. The articles I included in my research discuss God in Recovery and the need for group membership in the recovery process. As a recovering addict I understand the dynamics of the 12 steps and have a unique experience with the entire process of getting clean and maintaining a life style which is drug free and God centered. An independent variable is the variable you have control over, what you can choose and manipulate. It is usually what you think will affect the dependent variable. In some cases, you may not be able to manipulate the independent variable (Myers, 2012). Research has a methodology called the Scientific Method which outlines how to go about proving a Hypothesis and as a researcher our job is to be non judgmental and keep our own personal preferences out of the process.
The article I would like to discuss is Future of God in recovery from drug addiction. This was a Qualitative study and there was no statistical threat, the authors of the study examined different literature on the subject of God in Recovery and the need to have a relationship with a higher power. This study was particularly interesting to me because it looked at the topic which I believe is so crucial to an addict staying clean. The study did not set up a test retest or any groups to look at this question. However, the article was an in depth look at the different religious denominations and how recovering addicts use God to find themselves. Personally, I would like to conduct a study of 100 people in various ages that are in recovery and over a one year period use questionnaires and surveys to see how important God is in their life. Also, keeping track of who relapsed in that year and how deep of a working relationship they have with a higher power to prove or disprove the need for God in the 12 step program.
Another study I included in my research was Group membership and Social identity in Addiction Recovery this was a cross sectional correlation design used to examine the relationships between recovering addict identity, self efficacy, diet identity and number of month’s drug free (Buckingham, Frings, & Albery, 2013). The study included 61 participants between the ages of 19 and 77 years with clean time from one month to 360 months. The study handed out questionnaires to people who regularly attended AA or NA meetings and the study was looking at the associations between identity preferences and evaluative differentiation (Buckingham, Frings, & Albery, 2013). The independent variables are outlined in the hypothesis and the surveys were the way to determine the results of the tested variables. The hypothesis is if group membership is strong and addicts identify with the group of recovery then we should see less relapse. The independent variable (what we are changing) is the amount of group membership and the dependent variable (what they are measuring) how many non group members relapse. When getting the surveys back the researchers look at how people identify with the group and if there is a strong correlation between identifying oneself as an addict and the need for the support groups.
Threats in the second study could be people lying when taking the surveys, or not being completely honest with where they are at in the Recovery process. With statistical regression there is a thing called regressing towards the mean which means those who test very low or very high on a test may do better or worse the next time by trying to identify with the average or the mean. I do not think this could be a problem if the participants were not allowed to see how the other people are answering the questions. If we would go back and re test these same people in a year they could have relapsed or had a breakthrough in their recovery which would cause them to either identify more or less with the AA groups. The whole basis of this type of study is in hopes that the people answering the surveys are being honest so the conclusions can be correct. Unlike a physical test, of let us say a prescription drug where one can measure the effects of the drug on a person; a qualitative study can be observed but not measured (Myers, 2012). I think that Quantitative studies seem to be more valid yet I prefer quantitative studies because each person is different and we should leave some room for circumstances of people’s lives and journeys. There was no test retest in this study and I believe that one should be done as a follow up on any study which asks questions of a person. As we grow in recovery our lives change dramatically if we are truly being honest and working the program. A survey such as this one should be re done in my opinion.
Buckingham, S. A., Frings, D., & Albery, I. P. (2013). Group membership and social identity in addiction recovery. Psychology Of Addictive Behaviors, 27(4), 1132-1140. doi:10.1037/a0032480
Cronin, C. W. (2010). Review of ‘The War of the Gods in Addiction: C. G. Jung, alcoholics anonymous, and archetypal evil’. Journal Of Religion And Health, 49(4), 638-639. doi:10.1007/s10943-010-9388-x
Myers, A., & Hansen, C. H. (2012). Experimental psychology (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Rehm, J. (2011). The Risks Associated With Alcohol Use and Alcoholism. Alcohol Research & Health, 34(2), 135-143.
Sellman, J. D., Baker, M. P., Adamson, S. J., & Geering, L. G. (2007). Future of God in recovery from drug addiction. Australian & New Zealand Journal Of Psychiatry, 41(10), 800-808. doi:10.1080/00048670701579074
Traber, R., Würmle, O., & Modestin, J. (2009). Two types of classification in female alcoholism. Archives Of Women’s Mental Health, 12(5), 291-299. doi:10.1007/s00737-009-0075-4