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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A narrative account of change from problem drinking Beale, Judith E.


This study's purpose was to reveal the depth of the experience of change from problem drinking through a single case study design using descriptive interviews and a qualitative methodology. The case data sources included a changed problem drinker and three significant others or collaterals. By including several sources, the potential benefit of multiple perspectives concerning the same case was realized and the validity of the data enhanced. The focus was to explore the how and why of change from problem drinking through the telling of stories from several views. The narrative method highlighted thirty five "sub stories" which were summarized and arranged in chronological order. A narrative analysis revealed the significance of these accounts by exploring patterns, plots, transitions and significant themes. This study illustrated the complexity of change from problem drinking by revealing the importance of contexts, interaction patterns and changing identity features. The role of significant life events as causative of change was secondary to everyday encounters and their cumulative effect upon consciousness raising and self understanding. A comprehensive review of change from problem drinking required expanding the timeframe of this phenomena to include social drinking to problem drinking and finally non drinking.

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