Testing Alcohol Behavioral Couples Therapy for Women (McCrady, PI)

This 5-year project continues a broad program of research to develop conjoint models of treatment for alcohol abuse/dependence. The proposed research is intended to accomplish four specific aims: (1) To obtain detailed descriptive data about the nature of relationships between women with alcohol abuse/dependence and their male partners; (2) To modify the investigators' existing Alcohol-related Behavioral Couples Therapy with Relapse Prevention (RP/ABCT) approach to incorporate current knowledge about women with alcohol abuse/dependence and their male partners; (3) To test the effectiveness of manualized ABCT for women compared to an individually-oriented women's treatment using a randomized clinical trial with an 18-month follow-up; (4) To assess the relative contribution to the prediction of treatment outcome of individual psychopathology, partner psychopathology, quality of the intimate relationship, and functioning of other parts of the woman's social network. One hundred and twenty women with alcohol abuse/dependence and their male partners will be recruited from existing community treatment programs and through direct advertising. Subjects will be randomly assigned to RP/ABCT or individual cognitive-behavioral treatment. Twenty outpatient treatment sessions will be provided. Couples will be assessed in-person at baseline, and 6, 12, and 18 months after baseline, and each partner will be interviewed by telephone 3, 9, and 15 months after baseline. Subjects will be assessed in multiple areas of functioning: alcohol and drug use, individual psychological functioning of each partner, marital functioning, and the extent and quality of the woman's social network.