Social Network Theory

The perception of material and emotional social support

The perception of material and emotional social support and how they impact the completion of residential drug treatment have been examined in this article using the social network theory. According to the theory, social networks provide the foundation for understanding how different variables correlate and depend on one another. The family, friends, coworkers, parents, kids, age, gender, color, and financial resources are some of the social network theory's proponents. The hypothesis describes how the aforementioned proponents help the participants finish their residential drug treatment. The research method used in this article is longitudinal survey research design which assessed the services and drug treatment results for women in recovery using both data collected when they first got admission to residential treatment and data obtained on continuous events in the course of the study period.

Interviewing as a research method

Interviewing was used as a research method where semi-structured interviews were administered upon admission and repeated after three months of intake. The agency's intake form, case closure form, and addiction severity index completed by staff agency were vital as they formed the basis of data sources (Colluci, 2007). Intake and closure forms helped to establish whether women had children or not. The addiction severity index was used to compare women's responses during interviews. Life history calendar was too used to collect data on women's sources of material support.

Key independent and dependent variables

Key independent and dependent variables of the research are:

  • Independent variables which include; material support and emotional support.

  • Dependent variables: marital status, education, having children, ethnicity, and drug treatment history.

Logistic regression

Logistic regression was run to arrive at the article's conclusion where comparative relations were done between one independent variable with other dependent variables. It was found that those women who received most emotional support had a higher stake of completing the treatment program as opposed to those who received less emotional support. On material support, it was not evident that those who received sufficient support would complete as it could be dependent on other dependent variables for completion to be successful.

Research findings

The research findings found out that those women who got enough emotional and material support primarily from friends and family had a higher rating to completing the drug treatment. Those women who received less financial support had a lower rating to completing the drug treatment. Support from family. In general terms, emotional and material support from the family determined much those who would finish the drug treatment program. Yes, the author cites limitation as follow; the author mentions that further research should focus on how women's social network affects their decision to enter and complete treatment (Lewandowski and Hill, 2009). The author also cites that the study should assess how access to financial resources affects women's recovery, particularly among unfortunate women where resources are limited.

Psychology's contribution to the study

Psychology is another social science discipline that would contribute to the study conducted in this article. This is so because psychology is a social science discipline that focuses on the mental development and mental growth of human beings. A majority of drugs used by women and men affect the psychology of that particular individual. The brain forms the basis of understanding the behavior of a person. When he/she uses the drugs to addiction level, the brain/mental behavior is altered, and psychology can only explain this as a social science discipline. In general terms, psychology as a discipline contributes more to understanding drug effects and their associated behaviors.

Focus Group

In social sciences, focus group allows interviewers to study people in a more natural conversation pattern than it occurs in a one-to-one interview. It can be used to learn about organizations and their modes of interaction. The advantage of the focus group is that it is relatively low on cost compared to investigations as one can get results relatively quickly and increase the sample size of a report by talking with several people at once. The other advantage is that it can be used as an occasion for participants to learn from one another as they exchange and form on one another's views so that the partakers can experience the exploration as an enriching encounter (Colluci, 2007). That said, women, in this case, can be grouped and be given similar emotional and material support to see if a more substantial number can complete the drug treatment program. When this is done, the participants will tend to provide more information as they note their group members and this can open lots of information to the researcher.

The additional data accruing from this method above will help in determining the effects of social networks as the members will be seen creating new links of friends as the program continues. As a result of new friends, confidentiality of individual members will be shaken, and more profound and more information will be collected thus shrinking the gap in research findings. The additional information will also strengthen the findings of the research topic as the diversity of data collection will be employed hence translating to detailed conclusions and opening room for higher chances of generalization.

The use of multiple methods would contribute much to research findings and conclusion. This will help to concentrate and focus on the topic of research. It will also help to bridge the gap in collecting data as what one method fails to capture will be captured by the other process in the mixed-up play. In the analysis part, positive findings will be drawn and open to generalization.

With the use of multiple methods, the conclusion will change as more and finer findings will be considered. The emotional and material social support to women will not only be based on family support, parents, and former friends but it will also be affected by newly found friends in the case of the focus group as confidentiality will have faded. Research gaps will be minimal as there are tendencies of getting broader data which will translate to the conclusion of the study. The conclusion would read that emotional and material support to women affects largely the completion of drug treatment, therefore, recommended in full.


Colluci.E, (2007). “Focus group can be fun”: The use of activity oriented questions in focus group discussions. Qualitative health research. 17(10): 1422-1433.

Lewandowski, C., and Hill, T. (2009). The impact of emotional and material social support on women’s drug treatment completion, health and social work. 34(3), 213-221.

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