Empowerment for Families of People with Substance vs. Gambling Problems: Similarities & Differences Presentation (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Petra, Megan M


  • Intimate partners and other family members of the estimated 30.6 million United States residents with substance and/or gambling problems (SGP) experience significant stress, such as disrupted family life, financial trouble, and increased risk for related problems such as family violence. With many SGP continuing for years, family members are faced with the task of coping with their loved one’s SGP over time. One way to understand this task of coping with a loved one’s SGP is the Stress-Strain-Coping-Support (SSCS) model. This presentation will explain the SSCS model and its utility in working with family members of people with SGP. Next, the presentation will describe a research project with intimate partners of people with SGP. Distinct differences in stress, strain, coping, and support arose between people whose loved ones did (vs. did not) have problems with alcohol, with drugs, or with gambling. These differences provide insight into the challenges of coping with a loved one’s alcohol, drug, or gambling problem, as well as the strengths of family members. Finally, this presentation will discuss implications of these differential challenges and strengths for treatment goals of improved health and well-being, bolstering resilience, and empowerment of family members.


publication date

  • 2015