The following qualitative research study focuses on the substance abuse treatment experiences of men who have sex with men. Current research in this area indicates that while these men sometimes seek treatment for substance abuse issues, their treatment experience can be compromised due to personal fears or ignorance on the part of treatment staff members or others in treatment (Cabaj, 2008; Cheng, 2003; Hellman, Stanton, lee, Tytun, & Vachon, 1989). Specific goals of this study include: (1) gaining insight into the treatment experience(s) of these men and (2) learning about how their individual and collective treatment experience(s) contribute to their ability to remain abstinent after completing treatment. Symbolic interactionism is the theoretical framework that undergirds this study. The research design incorporates an in-depth analysis of case notes and observations from a sample comprised of 24 men. In addition, “member checks” (Guba, 1981; Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Moustakas, 1994), or follow-up interviews, were conducted with a small subset of this sample to gain further insight into their individual treatment experiences. This study has implications for practice as marriage and family therapists, substance abuse counselors, and others who work with men in substance abuse treatment programs, as well as for researchers who work with this population.

LLU Discipline

Marital and Family Therapy


Counseling and Family Sciences


School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Fox, Curtis

Second Advisor

Huenergardt, Douglas

Third Advisor

Bradley, Lena Lopez

Fourth Advisor

Moline, Mary E.

Degree Name

Doctor of Marital and Family Therapy (DMFT)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Homosexuality; Male; Health Behavior; Substance-Related disorders -- therapy; Substance abuse -- Treatment

Subject - Local

Gay men;



Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives