Wifes Psichosocial Problems of Wives Living with Husbands who are Chronically Ill with Alcoholism

Violeta Ivanauskienė, Laura Varžinskienė

Abstract


Alcoholism in Lithuania is an urgent and widely spread social problem. Practically each person faces it directly or indirectly: family members, relatives or friends are ill with alcoholism. Besides, the existing tradition to celebrate different festivals with alcohol causes the spread of this social problem. Burke (1988) stated that 90% of adults use alcohol. When a husband in the family is ill with alcoholism, his wife feels the consequences of this illness. In 2004 in Lithuania 927 persons became ill with alcoholic psychosis, 1281 became ill with alcoholism (Lithuanian Yearly Book, 2005). A person dependent on alcohol harms not only himself/herself but all people surrounding him/her. The closest and the nearest people (a spouse, children, parents) living together with the addict suffer most.
The goal of this article is to reveal psychosocial problems of wives, living with husbands, who are chronically ill with alcoholism.
86 women took part in the research: 43 women living with husbands who are chronically ill with alcoholism and 43 women, who do not have the problem of alcoholism in the family, formed a control group, which was analogical to the research group according age and education.
L. Reeder psychosocial stress scale and shortened version of “Life Distress Inventory” and “Self-Esteem Rating Scale” were used in the research.
The research revealed that women’s, who live with alcohol addicts, self-esteem is lower. They feel to be passive, humiliated, yielding. They also experience greater psychosocial stress and are more dissatisfied with their marital life, work and health. 67,4% of research group women pointed out that the main problem in the family is husband’s alcoholism, 32,6% stated that the main problem is bad relations in the family and 25,6% pointed out tension and stress in the family.

Keywords


alcoholism; wife of a chronically ill with alcoholism husband; psychosocial problems

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789