The Resilient Recovery from Substance Addiction: The Role of Self-transcendence Values and Hope

Claudia Russo, Daniela Barni, Ioana Zagrean, Maria Agnese Lulli, Giorgia Vecchi, Francesca Danioni


Background: Substance addiction is a psychosocial problem facing many people today. While the previous trend in addiction treatment was the harm reduction approach, nowadays it is fully recognized the importance of promoting human resources in order to help people to face the rehabilitation process, to prevent the risk of treatment dropout and future relapses, and to positively re-integrate them into the society. During the process of recovery from substance addiction, resilience is one of the most important protective factors against both dropouts and relapses. This study analyzed for the first time whether and the extent to which self-transcendence values (i.e., benevolence and universalism) promote resilience, considering the mediating role of hope, among patients in residential substance abuse treatment.

Method: Seventy-six Italian patients in residential treatment for substance addiction (86.5% males and 13.5% females; Mage = 40.23, SD = 10.88) participated to the study. Participants were asked to complete the Self-transcendence subscale from the Portrait Values Questionnaire, the Hope Scale, and the Connor Davidson Resilience Scale.

Results: Findings showed that self-transcendence values were positively related to resilience and that hope fully mediated (in a positive direction) this relationship. Self-transcendence values promoted resilience through the mediating role of hope.

Conclusions: This complex relationship suggests a holistic model of resilience during the process of recovery from substance addiction. Limitations of the study, practical implications, and future research developments are discussed.


Self-transcendence values; Hope; Resilience; Substance addiction; Mediation model.

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