Date of Award

10-23-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Catherine Y. Chang, Ph.D. - Chair

Second Advisor

Kenneth B. Matheny, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Brain J. Dew, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Roy M. Kern, Ed.D.

Fifth Advisor

Catherine J. Brack, Ph.D.

Abstract

Addictions are prevalent in the United States with gay men’s drinking habits considered as problematic as their heterosexual counterparts (Bux, 1996). Although some research has compared gay men and heterosexual men’s drinking behaviors, further research is needed to identify the life-style and coping resource differences between gay men with and without drinking problems. This study explores gay men and problem drinking from an Individual Psychology perspective by comparing the life-style themes as measured by the Basic Adlerian Scales for Interpersonal Success – Adult Form (BASIS-A: Wheeler, Kern, & Curlette, 1993) and coping resources as measured by the Coping Resources Inventory for Stress (CRIS: Matheny, Aycock, Curlette, & Junker, 2003) between gay men with and without harmful alcohol use as determined by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT: Saunders, Aasland, Babor, De LA Fuente, & Grant, 1993). Through probability sampling over the internet, 398 self-identified gay men completed online surveys. The 398 participants represented three groups: (a) No Current Alcohol Problem (n = 284, 71.4%), (b) a Current Alcohol Problem (n = 91, 22.9%), and (c) Alcoholic but Currently Abstaining (n = 23, 5.8%). A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) resulted in significant differences between the groups on several scales of the CRIS and BASIS-A, and a logistic regression identified Confidence, Tension Control and Going Along as significant predictors of alcohol problems in gay men. Limitations, needs for future research, and counseling implications are discussed.

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