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Salud mental

versão impressa ISSN 0185-3325


CRUZ-ALMANZA, Ma. de los Angeles; GAONA-MARQUEZ, Lydia  e  SANCHEZ-SOSA, Juan José. Empowering women abused by their problem drinker spouses: effects of a cognitive-behavioral intervention. Salud Ment [online]. 2006, vol.29, n.5, pp.25-31. ISSN 0185-3325.

According to the National Survey of Addictions, in México nearly one in ten males (9.6%) inhabiting urban areas complies with the alcohol dependence criterion established in the DSM-IV Problem drinking men frequently drive their spouses to develop severe personality disorders and tolerate extremely degrading situations.

Diverse interventions have been used to treat these problems. These include group counseling, and improving self-esteem. Family therapy has also been used to assess the extent to which these women actually influence their problem-drinking partner.

Family education may promote self-sufficiency and assertiveness. Other results suggest that group training reduces the abused spouse's psychiatric symptoms.

Rational-Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) operates on cognitive biases related to personal interaction and assertiveness. This includes effectively expressing desires, beliefs, needs, and opinions.

Thus, the purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of an intervention designed to promote self-esteem, coping strategies and assertiveness in abused spouses of problem drinkers.


A non-probabilistic random sampling procedure was used to select 35 women from two community centers. One produced 18 participants, and the other 17. All were spouses of problem drinkers, between 25 and 50 years of age and their schooling fluctuated from complete elementary school to college education and their socioeconomic level fluctuated from low to middle.

A scheme similar to a multiple baseline design across two groups as well as an accidental control group, was used to evaluate the pertinent comparisons. Instruments used to collect data included the Assertion Inventory validated for Mexico by Guerra, the Coopersmith's Self-esteem Inventory, validated by Lara-Cantú, Verduzco, Acevedo and Cortés, The Coping Inventory and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). The Wilcoxon statistical test was run on the data in order to establish the probability associated to the differences between pretest and post-test, follow-up 1, follow-up 2 and follow-up 3. Results revealed significant improving differences on assertiveness, coping responses and self-esteem.

Palavras-chave : Wives; empowerment; self-esteem; coping; assertiveness; problem drinkers; intervention.

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