Mutual Help Research

  • Barbara McCrady
  • Scott Tonigan

    Community-based mutual help programs such as AA are immensely popular and 12-step treatment, which is based upon the principles of AA, is the most prevalent type of treatment in the United States. With the support of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), CASAA investigators have led in the study of mutual-help participation and benefits for the past 20 years, both as an adjunct to formal treatment and as a stand alone community-based intervention.

    Specific areas of expertise include:
  • Development of mutual-help specific assessment tools
  • Meta-analytic and narrative reviews of the 12-step research (1947-2011)
  • Investigation of 12-step affiliation and disaffiliation profiles
  • In-depth study of the processes and mechanisms explaining 12-step benefit
  • Investigation of spiritual change and how such changes explain 12-step benefit
  • Special populations and 12-step programs
  • 12-step group dynamics and abstinence
  • Investigation of the efficacy of treatments that integrate 12-step with cognitive-behavior therapy