Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Senn, Charlene,


Psychology, Clinical.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The purpose of the present study was to test and expand Marlatt and Gordon's (1985) Relapse Model using a sample of substance-abusing women. Marlatt and Gordon hypothesized that coping skills, positive expectancies, and self-efficacy would predict post-treatment substance use. They also hypothesized that individuals who experience the abstinence violation effect following an initial lapse would be at increased risk of further substance use. Variables representing issues relevant to women were added to the original model. Specifically, poly-drug addiction and experiences with physical and sexual abuse were hypothesized to be important in any relapse model applied to women. Questionnaires were administered to 98 chemically dependent women in treatment centres across Ontario one week within their discharge date, and one, two, and three months after leaving treatment. This study found some support for Marlatt and Gordon's Relapse Model. Self-efficacy was the strongest predictor of an initial, post-treatment lapse. Participants with lower self-efficacy were at greater risk for a lapse. In addition self-efficacy mediated the relationship between coping and relapse. Participants with poorer coping skills also had lower self-efficacy which placed them at increased risk of relapse. All but one woman who relapsed reported experiencing multiple lapses, therefore the second part of Marlatt and Gordon's model could not be tested. When a liberal level of significance was used, participants who had been physically abused as children were found to be more likely to relapse, but this relationship was also mediated by self-efficacy. Finally, there was a significant interaction between expectancies and poly-drug use. Poly-drug users with higher expectancies were more likely to relapse whereas single drug users with lower expectancies were more likely to relapse. The present study found that women's confidence in their ability to remain abstinent after treatment (i.e., self-efficacy) is a key predictor of post-treatment substance use. Confidence was affected by factors such as childhood victimization and ability to cope with cravings. Consequently, treatment programs should focus on increasing self-efficacy by teaching clients coping skills and addressing issues relevant to women, such as victimization. In addition, more research is needed to explore how other issues (e.g., family of origin, motivation, etc.) affect the recovery process in chemically dependent women.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2000 .C67. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 62-10, Section: B, page: 4777. Adviser: Charlene Senn. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2000.