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The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between identity styles and recovery from substance abuse. Consistent findings have established a relationship be- tween identity diffusion and substance misuse, but no research has explored the influence of identity styles on recovery processes. Participants (N = 252) from treatment and recovery-based facilities and groups using a 12-step recovery model were assessed with the Identity Style Inventory (White, Wampler, & Winn, 1998) and self-report measures of pretreatment addiction, length of continuous abstinence, quality of recovery, and recovery progress. Those with a diffuse/avoidant style had shorter lengths of continuous abstinence, fewer recovery-oriented behaviors, lower quality of recovery, and less recovery progress than those with an information style, suggesting an important relationship be- tween identity styles and the process of recovery from substance abuse.


Originally published in Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research. 2003. Volume 3. Issue 4. Pages 325–345.