Research on Alcoholics Anonymous and other self-help programs has shown mixed results regarding lifetime participation at the individual level. No one has systematically studied whether lifetime membership contributes to the success of the program as a whole. This project analyzes the relationship of lifetime membership and program growth using a series of agent-based models. Results demonstrate that programs encouraging lifetime attendance produce more groups and recruit more members than programs encouraging graduation. Rapid graduation disrupts the availability of senior members to help newcomers, limiting program growth. Self-help programs may improve program effectiveness by encouraging long-term attendance.
An Agent-Based Model of Lifetime Attendance and Self-Help Program Growth
Danielle Hiance, Nathan Doogan, Keith Warren, Ian M. Hamilton & Marilyn Lewis
Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions Volume 12, Issue 2, 2012