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Quality of life, social integration and alcohol addiction

Klavdija Čuček-Trifkovič (2014) Quality of life, social integration and alcohol addiction. PhD thesis.

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    Abstract

    Alcohol addiction is the most common type of addiction in Slovenia, and worldwide. It develops gradually as interplay of various factors (individual and social) and has numerous consequences for individuals at psychophysical, economic and social level. Experts agree that alcohol addiction is an important bio-psycho-socio problem, which needs to be addressed holistically and extensively. The theoretical part of the present doctoral thesis discusses the development of addiction, the models of psychosocial rehabilitation, the concept of the quality of life, the importance of psychophysical, relational and social rehabilitation as well as the concept of an individual’s integration in their social settings. Alcohol addiction gradually leads to social exclusion of both, the addicts and their families. As a consequence, the addicts’ psychophysical balance is broken, they lose social contacts, social security and family support, they start suffering from other mental disorders and so on. This all leads to the unavoidable reduction of their quality of life. Abstinence and a complete change of their lifestyle give recovered alcoholics best results with regard to the improvement of their social integration, thus leading to a better quality of life of the recovered individuals as well as their families. The empirical part of this thesis uses the triangulation of quantitative and qualitative approaches to discuss individuals’ evaluations of their quality of life, family support, social integration and the evaluation of mood states, i.e. the occurrence of depressive disorders. The studied quantitative research group consisted of three subgroups: the first one were individuals who had not yet started the treatment of their alcohol addiction, the second one were individuals who were being treated for their alcohol addiction during data collection, while the third one comprised individuals who had completed an institutionalised treatment of their alcohol addiction and were members of various groups for recovered alcohol addicts. To make the results comparable we also set up a control group of individuals not suffering from alcohol addiction. All groups were made statistically equal with regard to their gender, age and education. At the same time we put individuals from aforementioned groups in four focus groups to conduct a qualitative analysis of their subjective evaluations about their quality of life, social integrations and family support. The results of the quantitative and qualitative studies have shown that non-addicts are statistically significantly more satisfied with their own well-being and are also more active in their free time. Moreover, these individuals were found to be better integrated in their family dynamics and spoke of greater family support and closer ties between family members. Alcohol addicts, on the other hand, are statistically significantly more likely to suffer from severe cases of depressive disorder. When examining the occurrence of depressive disorder the results also show a statistically significant difference between the genders, whereby female alcohol addicts were not only more frequently found to have suffered from depressive disorder but they were also found to have suffered from more severe cases of this illness. The qualitative part of the study confirms some quantitative approach findings, e.g. that relaxation activities are extremely important for most research groups, but most of all for the healthy individuals group. The biggest support from family members was found among recovered alcohol addicts, who had completed the treatment, and healthy individuals. The group of individuals not suffering from alcohol addiction, however, was found to be most satisfied with their own social integration. In conclusion, alcohol addiction is a problem which affects individuals and their environment on all functional levels, whilst at the same time influencing the following areas: satisfaction with one’s life – alcohol addicts speak of a lower satisfaction with life given that on account of their addiction they are confronted with numerous problems on all levels of activity; interpersonal relationships – alcohol addicts have fewer social contacts as the result of the family breaking up, losing, amongst other things, their friends or their job. Frequently, alcohol addicts only stay in touch with their so-called drinking buddies, who, albeit on a temporary basis can still offer sufficient support; health – alcohol addicts suffer from numerous physical and mental health problems; economic status – unemployment, which is often connected to alcoholism, can lead to a greater financial crisis, poverty and loss of the social status. To help solve the alcohol addiction problematic we all need to pull our strengths together. In the light of this, the main contribution of the present doctoral thesis is to provide new insights, particularly in the area of evaluation and experiencing of the quality of life, social support and social integration. The findings could be used to significantly improve therapeutic and rehabilitation programmes in the area of social, pedagogical and health-care activities.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
    Keywords: satisfaction with life, social integration/exclusion, family support, depressive disorder, alcohol addicts
    Number of Pages: 285
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Alenka KoboltMentor
    prof. dr. Blanka Kores PlesničarComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10113609)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2277
    Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2014 08:50
    Last Modified: 11 Jul 2014 08:50
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2277

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