August 1976

The Social Climate of Alcoholism Treatment Programs

Author Affiliations

From the Social Ecology Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Stanford (Calif) University, and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Palo Alto, Calif.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976;33(8):910-916. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770080028002

• The social climate of four residential alcoholism treatment programs was assessed with the Community-Oriented Programs Environment Scale (COPES). The programs differed in terms of their treatment orientations (aversion-conditioning, milieu therapy) and the sociodemographic characteristics of the patients admitted. Results showed that (1) COPES profiles distinguished between the four alcoholism programs in ways that were consistent with their respective treatment orientations; (2) the type of patient admitted to these programs did not systematically affect their treatment environment; and (3) changes occurring within an alcoholism program resulted in corresponding changes in relevant dimensions of the treatment environment. We also discuss the practical utility of the COPES for assessing alcoholism programs.