Desirée Molina, A. Villalobos. José Félix Ribas Foundation, Venezuela
Codependency has been described as a significant health risk behavior, particularly for women, because codependent women are often involved in abusive and harmful relationships. Identification of individuals who are codependent is an important step in assisting them to engage in therapy and become a healthy support for drug abusers in treatment.
This research was conducted to determine the level of codependency on drug abusers’ mothers. Specific aims were to find an association between codependency level and sociodemographic variables, such as age, civil status, and educational level, and also to identify associations with a patient’s age and gender. The instrument used was created by Pérez and Delgado (2003), in which the codependency has three factors: Other Focus/Self-Neglect, Hiding Self, and Over Control.
The design was nonexperimental, field-descriptive research. It was based on a sample of 85 mothers of teenagers and adults with drug abuse problems who attended the “José Félix Ribas” Foundation Outpatient Program and “Hijos del Sol” Youth Treatment Center, during September–November 2009.
The findings showed that 80 percent of the mothers presented some level of codependency, from light (48.2%), to moderate (28.2%) and severe (3.5%), which confirms the presence of codependency in these mothers and could be derived from the affective relation with the drug abuser relative. Related to the sociodemographics, the data showed an association between codependency and educational level: the higher the level of education, the lower the level of codependency. No association with the patient’s age and gender was found.