Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-5-2018


Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a pervasive problem in the United States, costing approximately 250 billion dollars in 2010. Several decades of rigorous scientific approaches to treatment have yielded several effective treatments for AUD, however, the human and economic cost continues to rise. Recently, Moyers and colleagues reported that higher than average therapist empathy within-subjects was significantly associated with reductions in drinking following treatment. The finding of a within-subjects effect indicates that either a client or therapist characteristic may be responsible for the variability in empathy within client therapist dyads. There is evidence to suggest that client levels of hostility may be related to variability in therapist empathy. As such, the purpose of this secondary data analysis of the COMBINE research study was to explore the association between therapist levels of empathy and client levels of hostility in a sample of individuals (N=700) receiving treatment for AUD. Initial findings indicate that client levels of hostility are not related to therapist levels of empathy and that the two do not interact to predict drinking outcomes.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Theresa Moyers, PhD

Second Committee Member

Jon Houck, PhD

Third Committee Member

Kamilla Venner, PhD




Alcohol Use Disorder, Common Factors, Empathy, Hostility, Treatment Seeking, Psychotherapy

Document Type


Included in

Psychology Commons