New Publication Sheds Light on the Functionality and Value of A.A.

Tracy Ippolito, a graduate student in the School of Communication’s Media Communication Studies program, was recently published in Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly. Her paper is titled Safe in the Rooms of A.A.: How Anonymity Helps Reduce the Stigma of Help-seeking and Reinforces Solidarity and Group Cohesiveness. This study is part of a larger project Ippolito is still working on. “I am now engaged in research that focuses on college students who identify as being in recovery from a substance use disorder, in particular, the challenges they face as individuals committed to maintaining their recovery lifestyle in a high-risk environment. I hope, by learning about their experiences and perceived needs, to develop a new or innovative health communication intervention that will help address their requisites,” she says.

For Ippolito, this publication is a chance to share the results of the study with professionals in the community she hopes to impact. “I believe the publication contains nuanced insights into the functionality and value of A.A. and other support/mutual aid groups,” she explains. “I am extremely grateful to those members of the recovery community who were willing to share anonymously their thoughts and personal experiences, as well as the editors of Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly and the reviewers who made the publication possible. I am especially appreciative of Dr. Jessica Wendorf Muhamad, the Director of PEAKS laboratory and an Assistant Professor of Communication in the School of Communication at FSU for her continued guidance. Dr. Wendorf Muhamad’s commitment to action research into complex social issues has inspired me beyond words and motivated me to grow as an independent researcher.”