The present study investigated whether the Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (ACA) 12-step recovery model might be relevant to reducing toxic workplace behavior. Seventeen participants in the ACA program were interviewed to answer what changes in work-life are experienced by those who have worked in the ACA program and what components of ACA do practitioners believe have been most influential in their work-life changes? Interviewees reported experiencing positive results in their work lives, categorized by internal, philosophical changes, changes in behavior regarding interpersonal issues, changes in behavior regarding issues of self, and changes in overall outcome. These findings suggest that the ACA model is relevant to toxic workplace behavior and provides a potential list of requirements for an ACA-principled program should one be ported to the workplace. Discussion is provided around implications for practice and recommendations for future research.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Adult children of alcoholics; Work environment; Twelve-step program; Quality of work life

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Ann Feyerherm