Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a friendship skills training program on an inpatient alcoholic population. Male veterans, who were inpatients of the Alcohol Dependency Treatment Program at a Veterans Administration Hospital, served as research subjects. The specific aims of this study were to determine if there were any differences between the experimental and control groups on (1) self-report of friendship attitudes, self perception of friendship skills, positiveness of verbal response choices; (2) observed interpersonal behavior changes (or affects) in-hospital; and (3) self-report of interpersonal contact and drinking behavior following hospital discharge. Forty-five male alcoholic subjects were recruited through requests for volunteer subjects. Approximately every two weeks, ten new clients were admitted into the VA alcoholic unit and continued together as a subgroup throughout the VA six-week treatment program. Three of these subgroups were utilized in the study as the control group and contained a total of twenty-one volunteer subjects. Three different subgroups were utilized as the experimental group and contained a total of twenty-four volunteer subjects. Subjects from both the control and experimental groups received the current treatment components offered by the VA Alcohol Dependency Treatment Program. Only the three experimental subgroups were additionally exposed to training in friendship skills. Subjects were asked to complete four different self-report instruments: (a) Friendship Potential Inventory, (b) Friendship Checklist, (c) Interpersonal Situational Scale, and (d) Follow-Up Report. Subjects were also independently rated on a thirteen-item behavior checklist. The hypotheses proposed in this study were only partially supported. The treatment intervention did not affect attitudes as measured by the Friendship Potential Inventory. Experimental groups did demonstrate greater improvement on the Friendship Checklist scores suggesting that treatment intervention was effective in increasing experimental subjects' perception of themselves as more proficient in friendship making skills. The treatment intervention was effective in altering level of positiveness in verbal response choice as determined by the Interpersonal Situational Scale. Five of the thirteen observed behaviors of the Behavior Checklist were found to differentiate between the experimental and control groups. Follow-Up Report scores showed an overall increase in social contact, but no significant change in drinking behavior.