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Women and shame: narratives of recovery from alcohol dependence

Lamb, R and Kougiali, ZG (2024) Women and shame: narratives of recovery from alcohol dependence. Psychology & Health. pp. 1-38. ISSN 0887-0446

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Objective Existing literature indicates distinct pathways and the key role of shame and stigma into alcohol dependence (AD) and recovery for women. Internationally, there is a paucity of research exploring these factors from women’s perspectives. Methods and Measures Taking a critical realist epistemological position, unstructured life story interviews were analysed via narrative analysis to explore how seven women from the UK, storied shame in their recovery from AD. Results Shame followed a common trajectory across participants’ stories, appearing as a reoccurring factor throughout AD and recovery. Participants narrated shame as gendered, contributing to a loss of personal control in defining a valued personal identity. Drinking began as a shame-management strategy but evolved into a source of shame, compounded by fears of being labelled an ‘alcoholic woman’. Recovery involved reclaiming the self through de-shaming a shame-based identity and developing a positive, non-drinking identity. By evaluating ‘shaming’ recovery frameworks, sharing stories and reconstructing their own, participants were able to work through shame, resist pathologising identity labels and internalise esteemed ‘sober’ identities. Conclusion This research provides important insights into the intersection between shame, identity, gender and culture in women’s recovery from AD. Implications for clinical practice, future research and policy are considered.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: shame; alcohol dependence; narrative analysis; 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy; 1701 Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 13 May 2024 11:45
Last Modified: 13 May 2024 11:45
DOI or ID number: 10.1080/08870446.2024.2352191
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/23246
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