College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-14-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Leonard A. Jason, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Grace Budrys, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

William Cody, Ph.D.


Sponsorship is considered a critical element of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) recovery paradigm. Adult individuals (Mean age = 41.0 years) participated in a study to investigate the qualities and characteristics that make for an effective sponsor. These individuals (N = 231) had either experience as a sponsee or had been sponsors (n = 109). The study included three major analytical tasks: a qualitative open ended question on characteristics, a choice and ranking exercise of 20 attributes, and a conjoint analysis of hypothetical sponsors differing on five attributes across three levels. Results suggest current engagement in AA is the most critical attribute along with such characteristics as trustworthiness, integrity, and confidentiality. Availability also ranked high. These findings point to several paths for future research including measurement development and longitudinal effects of sponsorship on recovery trajectories.