Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


The statistics relating to alcoholism indicate the seriousness of this problem within the United States. According to Kinney and Leaton (1983), an estimated 3.3 million adolescents between the ages of 14 and 17 years have serious drinking problems. Steinglass (1981) stated that nine million adults in our society either abused or were addicted to alcohol. The pervasiveness of this problem is demonstrated by Kinney and Leaton (1983) who estimated that "for every person with an alcohol problem, four family members are directly affected" (p. 25). These statistics have important ramifications for family therapy. Since family therapists generally work with two or more adults in conflict with each other or with their children, the likelihood is increasing that alcohol related issues will be of concern. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to present the important contribution family therapy can make in the treatment of alcoholism. The paper will be sub-divided into eight main sections: Overview of Systems Theory, Overview of Family Therapy Philosophy, Application of Family Therapy to Alcoholism, Family Therapy Goals and Treatment of Alcoholism, Role of the Therapist, Results/Efficacy of Family Therapy on Alcoholism, Methodological Limitations, and Research Implications. It is hoped that through the following overview and discussion, the important role of family therapy can be ascertained in the treatment of the family affected by alcoholism.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Educational Administration and Counseling

First Advisor

Ann Vernon


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Date Original


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