Title

A Gender-Specific Approach to Improving Substance Abuse Treatment for Women: The Healthy Steps to Freedom (HSF) Program

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2012

Publication Title

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment

Volume

43

Issue

1

First page number:

61

Last page number:

69

Abstract

Given that women increasingly report using drugs to lose weight, substance abuse treatment programs must include body image, weight, eating pathology, and health knowledge as core intervention targets. This study tested the efficacy of a supplemental health and body image curriculum designed for women in substance abuse treatment who report weight concerns called Healthy Steps to Freedom (HSF). Data from 124 adult women recruited from substance abuse treatment facilities in southern Nevada completed measures of drug use, body dissatisfaction, eating pathology, thin-ideal internalization, and health knowledge/behaviors before and after participation in the 12-week HSF program. Results revealed that thin-ideal internalization, body dissatisfaction, and eating disorder symptoms significantly decreased after HSF program participation, whereas health-related behaviors (e.g., increased healthy food consumption) and knowledge (e.g., understanding of basic nutrition, exercise) increased. These results suggest that the inclusion of the HSF program in substance abuse treatment improves weight-related issues in substance-abusing women.

Keywords

Substance use/abuse; Eating pathology; Weight concern; Health promotion; Thin-ideal internalization

Disciplines

Community Psychology

Language

English

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