The Japanese success rate for alcoholism treatment is approximately 30%, indicating high relapse rates. Although “difficulty in life” is thought to contribute to alcoholics’ relapse, the characteristics of the phenomenon are unknown. This study examined the factors contributing to alcoholics’ difficulty in life. Alcoholic self-help group members, who indicated the extent of their difficulty in life and described the factors that contributed to this difficulty, completed a self-administered questionnaire. Participants’ hypersensitivity/grandiosity traits were also examined. A control group of nonalcoholic men also completed the questionnaire. Simple tabulation, descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney U tests, and multivariate analyses were used to compare data between groups. Ultimately, 574 and 512 valid responses were received from the alcoholic (response rate: 27.1%) and nonalcoholic (response rate: 33.1%) groups, respectively. The proportion of alcoholics (54%) who indicated that they found life difficult was significantly higher relative to that of nonalcoholics (39.9%). Alcoholics’ mean hypersensitivity score was significantly higher (2.67) relative to that observed for nonalcoholics (2.44). Significant between-group differences were observed for the following factors: building and maintaining relationships, satisfaction with life, self-distrust, cognitive bias, loneliness, empathic understanding, and self-acceptance. Multivariate logistic regression identified cognitive bias and building and maintaining relationships as factors contributing to alcoholics’ difficulty in life. Alcoholics’ social contexts, including broken families, social instability, and cross addiction, also contributed to this difficulty. Personal characteristics, such as hypersensitive-type narcissistic tendencies, relationship problems, and cognitive bias, were also associated with alcoholics’ difficulty in life.
Ito, K. (2017). Understanding alcoholics’ “difficulty in life”: An empirical comparison of alcoholics and nonalcoholics. Asian/Pacific Island Nursing Journal, 2(1), 1-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.9741/23736658.1050