A retrospective study of the concept of spirituality as understood by recovering individuals

J Subst Abuse Treat. 1996 Jan-Feb;13(1):67-73. doi: 10.1016/0740-5472(95)02022-5.


In 62 individuals recovering from substance abuse, materialism and spiritualism and cognitive patterns were quantified, before (retrospectively) and after recovery with the Mathew Materialism Spiritualism Scale (MMSS) and a Cognitive Patterns Questionnaire (CPQ). MMSS was also administered once to 61 general controls. Recovering individuals showed highly significant prerecovery to postrecovery increases in spirituality on most subscales of MMSS and changes in cognitive patterns. Sixteen controls who met the criteria for alcoholism on the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST-positive) were separated from the others. Prerecovery MMSS scores did not differentiate the recovering individuals from MAST-positive controls. However, the prerecovery MMSS scores obtained by recovering individuals were significantly lower than the scores obtained by the MAST-negative controls. On the other hand, after recovery, recovering individuals showed higher MMSS spirituality scores in comparison to MAST-positive controls. The only MMSS item that differentiated recovering individuals after recovery from MAST-negative controls was mysticism with the recovering group obtaining higher scores.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholics Anonymous*
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation*
  • Attitude*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Personality Inventory
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*