An examination of the relationship among family functioning, resiliency, and treatment retention in the therapeutic community

Kelly Ward, Fordham University


This study examined the relationship among treatment retention, family functioning, individual resiliency, family resiliency, and drug severity level in a sample of primarily urban, minority, lower socioeconomic young adults in a therapeutic community setting for drug and alcohol treatment. Treatment retention for drug addicts and alcoholics is a serious social problem and is significant because length of time in treatment has been shown to correlate with success after treatment. Family systems and resiliency theories were used as the theoretical framework for the study. The design of this study was exploratory, descriptive, retrospective, and cross-sectional. Data were collected from a convenience sample of 18 to 25 year-old, primarily low-income and minority addicts who were in treatment in three New Jersey therapeutic communities. Approximately 90 participants were administered a research instrument comprised of seven parts designed to measure the dependent variable (treatment retention), and independent variables of education level, ethnicity, family functioning, severity of addiction, individual resiliency, and family resiliency. Upon completion of the instrument, the participants were then tracked for 90 days as to the status in the program. Upon discharge, the staff completed a motivation measure. Through the use of a correlation, a logistical regression, and linear regression, results indicated that severity of addiction and ethnicity/race were significant to treatment retention. The hypotheses regarding the association between family functioning, individual resilience, family resiliency and treatment retention were not supported which may be a result of the protective factors are no longer enough to counteract the risk factors or that the quantity and quality of drugs is so much more severe now than even 10 years ago. Policy, clinical, and research implications are discussed.

Subject Area

Social work|Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Ward, Kelly, "An examination of the relationship among family functioning, resiliency, and treatment retention in the therapeutic community" (2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3041737.