Back
 JBM  Vol.5 No.12 , December 2017
Personal Accounts of Mothers’ Use of Social Media to Support Abstinence from Alcohol
Abstract: Alcohol consumption by professional educated women and mothers is rising. Drinking alcohol in the home is, for many, becoming a normalised and daily ritual. Previous research focuses on causality, risk factors and health related damage. Few studies focus on mothers of school age children specifically or why some mothers pursue and sustain alcohol free lives. The role of social media in enacting and sustaining abstinence is under researched, as are other factors important for this group in remaining abstinent. Aims: This qualitative study explored the reasons why mothers drank alcohol, and factors contributing to their decision to become alcohol free. It also explored the value and utility of social media in the form of a specific website aimed at providing support in abstinence. Methods: Six UK mothers with school age children who had become abstinent after previously drinking over official limits were recruited via social network website and interviewed. Transcripts were analysed thematically and inductive themes emerged. Results: Participants used alcohol to self-medicate, as a reward/relaxation strategy and because it was a normal part of their professional and daily lives. Reported reasons for abstinence included the negative effects alcohol had upon lives, inability to moderate/drink within guidelines and “trigger” events. Participants reported that their use of social media was inspirational, giving them a platform to share stories and help others and was preferred to traditional support. The use of social media in this way represented a supportive community and assisted vigilance toward the danger of relapse. Positive parenting identity, alternatives to alcohol, abstinence rewards and support from abstinent others were all factors in sustaining abstinence. Conclusions: Health professionals should recognise this hidden and hard to reach group and the potential efficacy of social media in assisting recovery from alcohol related issues.
Cite this paper: McGarva, S. and Machin, T. (2017) Personal Accounts of Mothers’ Use of Social Media to Support Abstinence from Alcohol. Journal of Biosciences and Medicines, 5, 67-80. doi: 10.4236/jbm.2017.512008.
References

[1]   ONS (2013) An Overview of 40 Years of Data (The 2011 General Lifestyle Survey).

[2]   Office for National Statistics (2013) Chapter 2—Drinking (General Lifestyle Survey Overview—A Report on the 2011 General Lifestyle Survey). http://www.ons.gov.uk

[3]   Lyons, A., McNeill, A. and Britton, J. (2014) Alcohol Imagery on Popularly Viewed tElevision in the UK. Journal of Public Health, 36, 426-434.
https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdt074

[4]   Emslie, C., Hunt, K. and Lyons, A. (2012) Older and wiser? Men’s and women’s Accounts of Drinking in Early Mid-Life. Sociology of Health & Illness, 34, 481-496.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9566.2011.01424.x

[5]   Salter, M. and Breckenridge, J. (2014) Women, Trauma and Substance Abuse: Understanding the Experiences of Female Survivors of Childhood Abuse in Alcohol and Drug Treatment. International Journal of Social Welfare, 23, 165-173.
https://doi.org/10.1111/ijsw.12045

[6]   Boden, J.M., Fergusson, D.M. and John Horwood, L. (2014) Associations between Exposure to Stressful Life Events and Alcohol Use Disorder in a Longitudinal Birth Cohort Studied to Age 30. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 142, 154-160.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.06.010

[7]   Kessler, R.C., Crum, R.M., Warner, L.A., et al. (1997) Lifetime Co-Occurence of DSM-III-R Alcohol Abuse and Dependence with Other Psychiatric Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey”. Archives of General Psychiatry, 54, 313-321.
https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.1997.01830160031005

[8]   Ling, J., Smith, K.E., Wilson, G.B., Brieley-Jones, L., Crosland, A., Kaner, E.F.S. and Haighton, C.A. (2012) The “other” in Patterns of Drinking: A Qualitative Study of Attitudes towards Alcohol Use among Professional, Managerial and Clerical Workers”. BMC Public Health, 12, 892-899.
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/12/892

[9]   Witbrodt, J., Borkman, T.J., Stunz, A. and Subbaraman, M.S. (2014) Mixed Methods Study of Help Seekers and Self-Changers Responding to an Online Recovery Survey. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 50, 82-88. https://doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agu077

[10]   Best, D., Gow, J., Taylor, A., Know, A. and White, W. (2011) Recovery from Heroin or Alcohol Dependence: A Qualitative Account of the Recovery Experience in Glasgow. Journal of Drug Issues, 41, 359-378.
https://doi.org/10.1177/002204261104100303

[11]   Carlson, B., Smith, C., Matto, H. and Eversman, M. (2008) Reunification with Children in the Context of Maternal Recovery from Drug Abuse. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 89, 253-263.
https://doi.org/10.1606/1044-3894.3741

[12]   Spillane, N.S., Greenfield, B., Venner, K. and Kahler, C.W. (2015) Alcohol Use among Reserve-Dwelling Adult First Nation Members: Use, Problems, and Intention to Change Drinking Behaviour. Addictive Behaviours, 41, 232-237.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.10.015

[13]   Oleski, J., Mota, N., Cox, B.J. and Sreen, J. (2010) Perceived Need for Care, Help Seeking, and Barriers to Care for Alcohol Use Disorders in a National Sample. Psychiatric Services, 61, 1223-1231.
https://doi.org/10.1176/ps.2010.61.12.1223

[14]   Brown, S., Tracy, E.M., Jun, M., et al. (2015) Personal Network Recovery Enablers and Relapse Risks for Women with Substance Dependence. Qualitative Health Research, 25, 371-385.
https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732314551055

[15]   Simon, J.M. (2014) Disciplining Drunken Mothers: Media Representations of Women’s Use of Alcohol. The Communication Review, 17, 45-64.
https://doi.org/10.1080/10714421.2014.872499

[16]   LaFave, L., Desported, L. and McBride, C. (2009) Treatment Outcomes and Perceived Benefits: A Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment of a Women’s Substance Abuse Treatment Program. Women & Therapy, 32, 51-68.
https://doi.org/10.1080/02703140802384743

[17]   Szabo, J. and Gerevich, J. (2013) Alcohol Dependency, Recovery, and Social Words. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43, 806-810.

[18]   Dawson, D.A., Grant, B.F., Stinson, F.S., et al. (2005) Recovery from DSM-IV Alcohol Dependence: United States, 2001-2002. Addiction, 100, 281-292.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2004.00964.x

[19]   Mudry, T.E and Strong, T. (2012) Doing Recovery Online. Qualitative Health Research, 23, 313-325.
https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732312468296

[20]   Finfgeld-Connett, D. and Madsen, R. (2008) Web Based Treatment of Alcohol Problems among Rural Women: Results of a Randomized Pilot Investigation. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 46, 46-53.
https://doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20080901-05

[21]   Office for National Statistics (ONS) (2015) Internet Access-Households and Individuals 2015. Statistical Bulletin.
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_412758.pdf

[22]   Cooper, G. (2004) Exploring and Understanding Online Assistance for Problem Gamblers: The Pathways Disclosure Model. E-Community International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction, 1, 32-38.
http://www.abgam-blinginstitute.ualberta.ca/LibraryResources/JournalTitles/eCOMMUNITY.aspx

[23]   Smith, C.P. (2000) Content Analysis and Narrative Analysis. In: Reis, H.T. and Judd, C.M., Eds., Handbook of Research Methods in Social and Personality Psychology, Cambridge University Press, New York.

[24]   Lyons, N. and LaBoskey, V.L. (2002) Narrative Inquiry in Practice: Advancing the Knowledge of Teaching. Teachers College Press, New York.

[25]   Braun, V. and Clarke, V. (2006) Using Thematic Analysis in Psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77-101. https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

[26]   Pitstrang, N. and Barker, C. (2012) Varieties of Qualitative Research: A Pragmatic Approach to Selecting Methods. In: Cooper, H., Ed., APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology, Vol. 2 Research Designs, American Psychological Association, Washington DC.

[27]   Elliott, R., Fischer, C.T. and Rennie, D.L. (1999) Evolving Guidelines for Publication of Qualitative Research Studies in Psychology and Related Fields. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 38, 215-229. https://doi.org/10.1348/014466599162782

[28]   Watts, R., Linke, S., Murray, E. and Barker, C. (2015) Calling the Shots: Young Professional Women’s Relationship with Alcohol. Feminism & Psychology, 25, 219-234.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0959353515571670

[29]   Weissman, M.M., Bland, R.C., Canino, G.J., et al. (1996) Cross-National Epidemiology of Major Depression and Bipolar Disorder. JAMA, 276, 293-299.
https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1996.03540040037030

[30]   Brierley-Jones, L., Ling, J., McCabe, K.E., et al. (2014) Habitus of Home and Traditional Drinking: A Qualitative Analysis of Reported Middle-Class Alcohol Use. Sociology of Health & Illness, 36, 1054-1076. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12145

[31]   Kuntsche, E., Knibbe, R. and Gmel, G. (2010) A Step Beyond—The Relevance of Depressed Mood and Mastery in the Interplay between the Number of Social Roles and Alcohol Use. Addictive Behaviors, 35, 1013-1020.

[32]   Klingemann, H.K.H. (1991) The Motivation for Change from Problem Alcohol and Heroin Use. British Journal of Addiction, 86, 727-744.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-0443.1991.tb03099.x

[33]   Thom, B. (1986) Sex Differences in Help-Seeking for Alcohol Problems 1. The Barriers to Help Seeking. British Journal of Addiction, 81, 777-788.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-0443.1986.tb00405.x

[34]   Moyer, A. and Finney, J.W. (2015) Brief Interventions for Alcohol Misuse. CMAJ, 187, 502-506.
https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.140254

[35]   Laudet, A.B., Becker, J.B. and White, W.L. (2009) Don’t Wanna Go through That Madness No More: Quality of Life Satisfaction as Predictor of Sustained Remission from Illicit Drug Misuse. Substance Use and Misuse, 44, 227-252.
https://doi.org/10.1080/10826080802714462

[36]   Weisner, C., Delucchi, K., Matzger, H. and Schmidt, L. (2003) The Role of Community Services and Informal Support on Five-Year Drinking Trajectories of Alcohol Dependent and Problem Drinkers. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 64, 862-873.
https://doi.org/10.15288/jsa.2003.64.862

[37]   Warren, J.I., Stein, J.A. and Grella, C.E. (2007) Role of Social Support and Self Efficacy in Treatment Outcomes among Clients with Co-Occurring Disorders. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 89, 267-274.

[38]   Hunter, B.A., Jason, L.A. and Keys, C.B. (2013) Factors of Empowerment for Women in Recovery from Substance Use. American Journal of Community Psychology, 51, 91-102.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10464-012-9499-5

[39]   Szmigin, I., Griffin, C., Mistral, W., Bengry-Howell, A., Weale, L. and Hackley, C. (2008) Re-Framing Binge Drinking as Calculated Hedonism: Empirical Evidence from the UK. International Journal of Drug Policy, 19, 359-366.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2007.08.009

 
 
Top