Introduction & Theoretical Background: The primary objective was to determine whether religious/spiritual well-being shows a relevant association with Rotter´s concept of locus of control (LOC) among a sample of well characterized addiction patients involved in long term therapy. The internal-external locus of control should be taken as a multidimensional construct and concerns expectancies of control, as they may relate to adjustment and clinical improvement. There is some empirical evidence that clinical populations perceive more control by “powerful others” and “chance” than healthy controls. It also has been demonstrated that addicts perceive less personal control and thus in our study they should have a higher level of external locus of control. It is hypothesized that addiction clients with a high religious/spiritual well-being should show notably more external attributions and place their locus of control more in “God” than in “luck”. The second aim of the study was to compare “locus of control”, “spirituality/religiosity” and “treatment motivation” in two groups of addicts: polydrug users and alcoholics.
Method: 63 male addicts (33 polytoxicomanics, 30 alcoholics) were tested with a questionnaire to determine locus of control (IPC), the Multidimensional Inventory for Religious/Spiritual Well-Being (MI-RSWB 48) and a questionnaire for psychotherapy motivation (FPTM-23). Additionally sociodemographic and anamnestic data were collected. Data were evaluated by conducting correlation/regression analysis. General linear model multivariate was used for group comparison.
Results & Discussion: Findings demonstrate that individuals suffering from substance dependence show more external attributions than the general populace. There was a positive association found between general religiosity/spirituality and external control orientation. The group of polytoxicomanics showed higher scores in internal locus of control than the alcoholics. Polytoxicomanics and alcoholics did not differ in the other examined variables. Results suggest that general religiosity is strongly associated with external locus of control. There was also a relevant correlation between treatment motivation, on the one hand with hope transcendent (r=-.42), and on the other hand with external locus of control (P-scale: r=.26; C-scale: r=.32). These findings indicate the important impact of spirituality/religiosity in regard to perceived control in addicts, treatment motivation and treatment outcome.