Prediction of controlled drinking by alcoholics and problem drinkers

Psychol Bull. 1993 Jan;113(1):129-39. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.113.1.129.


Recent research was reviewed on the following factors as predictors of controlled drinking (CD) by alcoholics and problem drinkers: severity of dependence, client attitudes and beliefs about controlled drinking and abstinence, previous treatment, pretreatment drinking style, psychological and social stability, demographic characteristics, family history of drinking, referral source, and posttreatment adjustment and drinking. No single personal characteristic has been consistently predictive, but there is convincing evidence that a lower severity of dependence and a persuasion that CD is possible are associated with CD after treatment. Prediction of CD might be improved by an approach that assesses the influence of three types of variables: enduring personal characteristics, changeable social and psychological characteristics, and transient precipitating events.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Alcoholism*
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Substance-Related Disorders / classification
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis*