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Models of Alcoholism Used in Treatment: Contrasting AA and Other Perspectives with Which It Is Often Confused

William R. Miller, Ernest Kurtz

Current popular and professional conceptions of alcoholism in the United States blend four models that differ in their emphases and implications and contain mutually contradictory beliefs. Elements of moral-volitional, personality and dispositional disease models have been confused with, and mistakenly attributed to, the essentially spiritual views of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). An original AA model can be distinguished from prior and subsequent beliefs with which it has been addled. Clarity regarding the essential elements of an AA understanding of alcoholism is important both for clinicians and for those who would undertake research on AA. (J. Stud. Alcohol 55: 159-166, 1994)