The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Identity in recovery from problematic alcohol Use: A qualitative study of online mutual aid

Identity in recovery from problematic alcohol Use: A qualitative study of online mutual aid
Identity in recovery from problematic alcohol Use: A qualitative study of online mutual aid
Aim. To explore how engagement with online mutual aid facilitates recovery from problematic alcohol use, focusing on identity construction processes.

Design: Qualitative indepth interview study of a maximum variation sample.

Setting:Telephone interviews with UK-based users of Soberistas, an online mutual aid group for people who are trying to resolve their problematic alcohol use.

Participants: Thirty-one members, ex-members and browsers of Soberistas (25 women, 6 men): seven currently drinking, the remainder with varying lengths of sobriety (two weeks to five years).Findings. Three key stages of engagement were identified: 1) ‘Lurking’ tended to occur early in participants’ recovery journeys, where they were keen to maintain a degree of secrecy about their problematic alcohol use, but desired support from likeminded people. 2) Actively ‘participating’ on the site and creating accountability with other members often reflected an offline commitment to make changes in drinking behaviour. 3) ‘Leading’ was typically reserved for those securely alcohol-free and demonstrated a long-standing commitment to Soberistas; leaders described a sense of duty to give back to newer members in early recovery and many reported an authentic identity, defined by honesty, both on- and off-line.

Conclusions: Engagement with online mutual aid might support recovery by affording users the opportunity to construct and adjust their identities in relation to their problematic alcohol use; individuals can use the parameters of being online to protect their identity, but also as a mechanism to change and consolidate their offline alcohol-related identity.
mutual aid, , online,, alcohol; , qualitative; , identity;, recovery
0376-8716
17-22
Chambers, Sophia, Elaine
144bdaab-9a0e-41d9-b471-6abe343ce375
Baldwin, David
1beaa192-0ef1-4914-897a-3a49fc2ed15e
Canvin, Krysia
37eac4dd-7063-4dfa-a5c1-9be1a3d0e675
Sinclair, Julia
be3e54d5-c6da-4950-b0ba-3cb8cdcab13c
Chambers, Sophia, Elaine
144bdaab-9a0e-41d9-b471-6abe343ce375
Baldwin, David
1beaa192-0ef1-4914-897a-3a49fc2ed15e
Canvin, Krysia
37eac4dd-7063-4dfa-a5c1-9be1a3d0e675
Sinclair, Julia
be3e54d5-c6da-4950-b0ba-3cb8cdcab13c

Chambers, Sophia, Elaine, Baldwin, David, Canvin, Krysia and Sinclair, Julia (2017) Identity in recovery from problematic alcohol Use: A qualitative study of online mutual aid. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 174, 17-22. (doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.01.009).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aim. To explore how engagement with online mutual aid facilitates recovery from problematic alcohol use, focusing on identity construction processes.

Design: Qualitative indepth interview study of a maximum variation sample.

Setting:Telephone interviews with UK-based users of Soberistas, an online mutual aid group for people who are trying to resolve their problematic alcohol use.

Participants: Thirty-one members, ex-members and browsers of Soberistas (25 women, 6 men): seven currently drinking, the remainder with varying lengths of sobriety (two weeks to five years).Findings. Three key stages of engagement were identified: 1) ‘Lurking’ tended to occur early in participants’ recovery journeys, where they were keen to maintain a degree of secrecy about their problematic alcohol use, but desired support from likeminded people. 2) Actively ‘participating’ on the site and creating accountability with other members often reflected an offline commitment to make changes in drinking behaviour. 3) ‘Leading’ was typically reserved for those securely alcohol-free and demonstrated a long-standing commitment to Soberistas; leaders described a sense of duty to give back to newer members in early recovery and many reported an authentic identity, defined by honesty, both on- and off-line.

Conclusions: Engagement with online mutual aid might support recovery by affording users the opportunity to construct and adjust their identities in relation to their problematic alcohol use; individuals can use the parameters of being online to protect their identity, but also as a mechanism to change and consolidate their offline alcohol-related identity.

Text
Identity_In_Recovery_From_Problematic_Alcohol_Use_A_Qualitative_Study_Of_Online_Mutual_Aid - Accepted Manuscript
Download (614kB)
Text
1-s2.0-S0376871617300819-main - Version of Record
Download (284kB)
Text
Identity In Recovery From Problematic Alcohol Use A Qualitative Study Of Online Mutual Aid
Restricted to Repository staff only
Request a copy

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 6 January 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 28 February 2017
Published date: 1 May 2017
Keywords: mutual aid, , online,, alcohol; , qualitative; , identity;, recovery
Organisations: Clinical & Experimental Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 406188
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/406188
ISSN: 0376-8716
PURE UUID: d052484e-9a5b-48c9-97d6-f82f96645fd3
ORCID for Julia Sinclair: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1905-2025

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Mar 2017 10:41
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 06:07

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×