Date of Conferral







Lucille Esralew


AbstractThe problem of alcohol addiction is heightened when other psychological factors are present, such as the stress of acculturation. The purpose of this research was to describe the experiences of Christian African immigrants in America who have used faith-based treatment approaches while in recovery from alcoholism and to determine how their faith may have been a way of coping with their recovery. In this hermeneutic qualitative phenomenological study, data were collected through semi-structured interviews with eight participants. The data were analyzed to explore the experiences of Christian African acculturating to America who endorse a faith-based approach to their recovery, and the following three main categories emerged: (a) acculturation stress and its relationship to alcoholism; (b) factors that affected recovery; and (c) integrating psychological, spiritual, and medical factors in recovery. In addition, 13 subcategories emerged: (a) job and settlement stress; (b) using alcohol to cope; (c) stress from helping people at home country; (d) culture shock, accent, communication, and respect differences; (e) social drinking/peer pressure; (f) family support; (g) church and related activities support; (h) personal faith/spiritual growth support; (i) spiritual leaders and relationship support; (j) role of spirituality; (k) the place of psychology and therapy; (l) the role of medication; and spiritual support system. The findings of this research will provide a better understanding of the experiences of participants who have endorsed faith as crucial to their recovery. This has potential implications for positive social change by providing a clearer understanding of this phenomenon, which can help with addiction counseling, especially for the population of the study.