|dc.description.abstract||This study investigated factors accounting for variance in beliefs
among addiction-treatment providers regarding the etiology of addiction
(N=295). A survey was mailed to members of three national treatment provider
organizations. The 18-item Addiction Belief Scale (ABS) assessed
strength of belief in the disease versus free-will model of addiction (a==.91).
Scores on an eight-item Spiritual Belief Scale assessing spiritual thinking
based on Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) philosophy (a=.92), the
Multidimensional Health Locus of Control scales, and demographic
questions were used to predict scores on the ABS.
These variables together accounted for 62 percent of the variance in
addiction beliefs, (p<.001). Spiritual thinking explained 42 percent of the
The findings support the idea that spiritual thinking, health locus-of-
control orientation, professional-group affiliation, gender, and the number of alcoholic drinks and/ or mood-altering drugs consumed, are
each significant in their ability to explain variance in addiction beliefs.
Treatment providers who believed in a metaphysical power that can
influence personal experience, and those who attributed responsibility for
their experience of health and illness to powerful others, believed in the
disease model of addiction, as did females. Treatment providers not
inclined to be spiritual thinkers, and not inclined to attribute responsibility
for health and illness to powerful others, believed in the free-will model of
addiction, as did males. The more drinks and/or drugs consumed per
week, the more likely the treatment provider believed in the free-will
model of addiction. The less drinks/ drugs consumed, the stronger the
belief in the disease model.
Addiction beliefs also varied significantly by religious affiliation.
Catholics were more likely to believe in the disease model of addiction,
followed by Protestants and then Jews. Atheists believed more strongly in
the free-will model, followed by agnostics.
Factor analysis of the ABS showed that beliefs regarding personal
power, dichotomous-thinking, and beliefs regarding addiction as a way of
coping with life are core issues in what has come to be known as "the
Implications for clinical and public policy are discussed.||en_US