Truthful self-nurturing: a grounded formal theory of women's addiction recovery

Qual Health Res. 1998 Jul;8(4):495-512. doi: 10.1177/104973239800800405.


This grounded formal theory study was designed to develop a midrange theory of women's addiction recovery from multiple substantive reports. Ten research reports from diverse contexts were analyzed using theoretical sampling and constant comparison. The basic problem of addiction was found to be self-destructive self-nurturing. The basic process of recovery was truthful self-nurturing, which required a painful awareness shift in which addiction gained meaning as a problem. Subsequent recovery involved three areas of social-psychological change: abstinence work, self-work, and connection work. Consequences were enjoying simple pleasures, growing self-understanding, self-acceptance, and sense of belonging, and empowered connectedness. The theory was supported by findings of other qualitative studies of the same phenomenon.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Awareness
  • Behavior, Addictive
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Power, Psychological
  • Self Concept
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • United States
  • Women / psychology*