Codependency: a disorder separate from chemical dependency

J Clin Psychol. 1992 Jan;48(1):129-36. doi: 10.1002/1097-4679(199201)48:1<129::aid-jclp2270480118>;2-c.


This study examined the relationship between codependency (an excessive preoccupation with the lives, feelings, and problems of others), chemical dependency of a significant other, and depression. The Significant Others' Drug Use Survey (SODS) determined whether the subject was in a relationship with a significant other at risk of being chemically dependent. Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to assess depression. Two hypotheses were tested: first, that codependency exists independently of chemical dependency and, second, that codependent people tend to be more depressed than non-codependents. Results supported the first hypothesis, but not the second. A significant correlation between depression and having a significant other likely to be chemically dependent was observed. The usefulness of the concept of codependency is discussed with proposals for subsequent research.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Codependency, Psychological*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*