Preference for spirituality and twelve-step-oriented approaches among adolescents in a residential therapeutic community

J Addict Dis. 2006;25(2):89-96. doi: 10.1300/J069v25n02_12.


This study sought to determine which adolescents being treated for substance use in a residential Therapeutic Community (TC) would endorse spirituality and Twelve Step oriented approaches as part of their treatment. By identifying individual difference characteristics associated with preference for spirituality and Twelve Step oriented approaches, integrated substance abuse treatments can be targeted to appropriate subgroups of adolescents. A total of 181 adolescents completed a survey assessing their substance use and attitudes toward spirituality and Twelve Step oriented approaches that was similar to a survey completed by 322 adults in the same residential TC program. In the adolescent sample, three spirituality related characteristics: perceived connectedness to others, frequency of prayer, and spiritual orientation to life were associated with preference for both spirituality and twelve step oriented approaches being featured more in TC treatment. Adolescents were less likely than adults to express a preference that both approaches be featured more in TC treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Comorbidity
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Heroin Dependence / psychology
  • Heroin Dependence / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology
  • Juvenile Delinquency / rehabilitation
  • Male
  • New York
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Residential Treatment*
  • Self-Help Groups*
  • Spirituality*
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / psychology
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / rehabilitation
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Therapeutic Community*