An Exploratory Investigation of the Association between Clinicians' Attitudes toward Twelve-step Groups and Referral Rates.
Affiliation with 12-step groups has been consistently linked to the achievement of abstinence among persons experiencing alcohol and other drug problems. Clinicians play a critical role in fostering clients' engagement in 12-step, yet, little is known about clinicians' attitudes and beliefs about 12-step groups, or about the association between such beliefs and referral practices. This exploratory study investigates this association to gain a greater understanding of determinants of referral practices. Participants were 100 clinicians working within outpatient treatment programs in New York City. Participants held highly positive views of 12-step groups in terms of helpfulness to recovery, but a large percentage endorsed items describing potential points of resistance to 12-step groups, in particular the emphasis such groups place on spirituality and powerlessness. More positive attitudes were associated with greater rates of referral, while resistance to the concepts of spirituality/powerlessness was associated with lower rates of referral. Implications of findings for clinical settings are discussed as well as a research agenda designed to more fully elucidate determinants of clinicians' 12-step referrals.