Psychology ETDs


Mandy Owens

Publication Date



The current research study looked at the social networks of adult male alcohol or drug offending probationers recently released from jail, assessed if and how social networks change from pre- to post-incarceration, and tested whether changes in social networks were related to alcohol or drug use. Forty adult male probationers were recruited from the New Mexico Corrections Department, Probation Parole Division, and two to seven months after release from jail were administered a single assessment battery that measured social networks, motivation, self-help group involvement, substance use, and other potential correlates of relapse. Results showed that there were significant changes in social networks, including decreases in social network size, decreases in percentage of network members that were heavy drinkers, decreases in percentage of network members that were heavy drug users, decreases in percentage of network members that were users of any kind, and increases in percentage of network members that were abstainers. Additionally, social networks were related to concurrent substance use and changes in social networks significantly predicted substance use after release from jail, even after controlling for substance use prior to incarceration. The results provided evidence that social networks and social support may operate as dynamic factors in models of relapse, and highlighted an area for potential intervention for adult males with substance use disorders being released from jail.

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First Advisor

McCrady, Barbara

First Committee Member (Chair)

Moyers, Theresa

Second Committee Member

Tonigan, J. Scott




Relapse, Social networks, Criminal justice system

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