Date of Award

Fall 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Donna Thomas


The prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse or dependence among Americans ages 12 and over is thought to be about 9.4% of the total population, or 22 million Americans (Karpiak & Norcross, 2005; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association [SAMHSA], 2003). According to Vuchinich (2002), substance use disorders (SUD) are the most common mental health problem in our society today. Additionally, estimates are that anywhere from half to 84% of all substance use disorder patients also experience a co-occurring disorder (Johnson, Brems, & Burke, 2002).

Traditional treatment facilities usually are focused primarily on either substance abuse treatment or psychiatric treatment, and rarely take into account how personal and interpersonal factors associated with one's mental health occur in conjunction with substance use disorders (Clement, Williams, & Waters, 1993). This confined focus of treatment to either substance use or psychiatric issues results in treatment that does not address the totality of the person, even though there has been a recent push to address the unique treatment needs of the substance abusing population (Straussner, 2004). The lack of integrated treatment for both substance and psychiatric problems may explain the high rates of relapse following treatment (Polivy & Herman, 2002).

The current study examined how personality and interpersonal variables are related to behaviors exhibited during treatment in an intensive inpatient substance abuse treatment program. Personality and interpersonal variables were assessed using the Personality Assessment Inventory (Morey, 1991). Substance abuse treatment behaviors were assessed using the Treatment Process Measure (TPM), which is a brief rating scale for examining various aspects of counselor-rated treatment participation (Joe, Simpson, Greener, & Rowan-Szal, 2004). The TPM for this study was completed weekly by each participant's individual therapist, and these scores were used to assess treatment participation. Pearson Correlations, Analysis of Variance, and a Stepwise Multiple Regression Analysis were the statistical tests used to analyze the data. Results indicated that the Stress Scale, Treatment Rejection Scale, Antisocial Scale and Borderline Scale on the PAI are predictive of treatment participation. In-depth results and implications for future practice and research are discussed.