Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Addiction Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Leah Seurer

Second Advisor

Mrs. Kristen Goettsch

Third Advisor

Dr. James Sturdevant


Addiction, Family, Peer Coaching, Conflict Resolution, Communication


When considering the impacts of addiction on society, it is important to include loved ones (LOs) – close friends and family members of those suffering from the chronic disease. The societal burden placed on LOs, in addition to the stress and pain they already experience in the face of addiction, results in an extremely neglected and isolated population. Using deductive thematic analysis procedures, this paper examines the role of LO wellness in person with disease (PWD) recovery by reviewing the impact of peer coaching, a new form of support for LOs. Semi-structured interviews with seven PWD and LO clients of Face It TOGETHER (FIT), an addiction management nonprofit, were analyzed in this study. Five primary themes were identified: “extended stress and overcompensating,” “helplessness,” “improved communication,” “openness to resources” and “mutually beneficial.” Ultimately, peer coaching lead to better communication and relationships, lessened helplessness previously felt by LOs and improved LO and PWD wellness.



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