Family Emotional Over-Involvement and Relapse among Inpatient Alcoholics in Nairobi, Kenya
Githae, Eunice Njango
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Family interactional patterns have been proposed as significant in relapse of most psychiatric disorders. Many studies have demonstrated that patterns of interactions of family members affect the quality of relationships within such families. Research, particularly in Systems Theories, has also indicated that the ways in which family members interact with each other is cyclic and affect recovery and sustainability of treatment among psychiatric patients. Although the relationship between family communication dynamics and psychiatric relapse has received much attention, few studies have focused on such dynamics within alcoholic families. This study has examined one of the interactional patterns referred to as emotional over-involvement (EOI) among close family members with alcoholic patients. The study is underpinned by the Family Systems Theory (Minuchin, 1974), and views alcoholism as a „family illness‟. The study derived samples from inpatient alcoholics in rehabilitation centers (N=186) and their family members in Nairobi County, Kenya. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was used to assess for alcoholism, while a questionnaire was generated to assess family EOI. Interviews were also carried out and were corroborated with the questionnaires. Pearson correlations and regression analyses showed that EOI was statistically significant at p=0.000<0.05 and had a predictive value of .471. This meant that EOI expressed by family members was a very significant predictor for relapse among recovering alcoholics.