Source: (2010) ournal of Social Work 12(3) 246â€“266
ô°€ Summary: Community engagement, or acting on behalf of the collective, can provide a variety of rewards. Nonetheless, people who misuse substances are less likely to endorse such goals as making a contribution to society or correcting systemic inequi- ties. As people modify their use of drugs or alcohol, they have been shown to draw purpose from community engagement. This mixed methods study examined contribu- tors to a community engagement orientation among 68 respondents with a history of substance misuse and incarceration.
ô°€ Findings: In the initial qualitative analysis, four themes emerged related to the respon- dentsâ€™ sense of purpose in life. The theme most frequently mentioned, community engagement, is the focus of this study. Discriminant analyses revealed that those endors- ing community engagement goals were older at the onset of heavy drinking, more likely to have received public assistance, more highly educated, as were their mothers, man- ifested greater self-esteem, and had previously been involved in an organization address- ing community concerns.
ô°€ Applications: Social workers might assist clients in identifying and manifesting what they believe to be their purpose in life, with particular attention to community engagement. In this way, they may utilize the wisdom gained from challenging experiences to benefit others and bring about social change.(Author’s Abstract)
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