Spirituality and Health: Empirically Based Reflections on Recovery

  • Michelle J. PearceEmail author
  • Clark M. Rivinoja
  • Harold G. Koenig
Part of the Recent Developments in Alcoholism book series (RDIA, volume 18)


In this chapter, we explore the spiritual functioning and well-being of individuals and how this relates to mental health and recovery from alcoholism within the conceptual framework of Alcoholics Anonymous. We raise the question of whether the spiritually oriented focus of AA is a critical factor in achieving recovery. We suggest that examining the findings from a large body of research on religion and mental health may provide further insight into this question. Specifically, we assert that the mechanisms through which the spiritual focus of AA may influence recovery from alcoholism may be similar to the mechanisms through which spirituality may influence mental health. These potential explanatory mechanisms include the provision of a community, a narrative framework for meaning-making, a means of coping through submission and redemption, and prescribed lifestyle behaviors.


Mental Health Religious Belief Religious Coping Church Attendance Religious Attendance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle J. Pearce
    • 1
    Email author
  • Clark M. Rivinoja
    • 2
  • Harold G. Koenig
    • 3
  1. 1.Clinical Associate, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Cognitive Behavioral Research and Treatment ProgramResearch Associate, Duke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Associate Professor of MedicineDuke University Medical Center, Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, VA Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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