Alcoholics' Attributions Concerning Abstinence and Returning to Drinking

Alisdair Mackenzie, Richard P. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A group of alcoholic men were interviewed at follow-up to test Attribution Theory predictions that favorable outcomes (abstinence) are more frequently attributed to the self, whereas unfavorable outcomes (return to drinking) are more frequently attributed to external factors. These theoretical predictions were not observed. The relationships between the more specific attributions made by our subjects and their drinking status are analyzed. The latter enable us to make suggestions relevant to treatment and relapse prevention. It was concluded that the expected attributional responses are less likely to be observed when subjects are making judgements about themselves concerning personally relevant familiar events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-79
Number of pages17
JournalAlcoholism Treatment Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004


  • Abstinence
  • Alcoholics
  • Attributions
  • Relapse
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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