This critical analysis of the literature is a comprehensive collection and review of the literature on the strengths-based perspective as it is applied to the treatment of substance use disorders. Literature was collected, analyzed, and critically evaluated to consolidate the existing research on strengths-based treatment approaches, identify ways in which the strengths-based perspective is congruent with culturally competent practice, and to identify strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in the literature. Analyses reveal that there are numerous components of the strengths-based perspective that are congruent with culturally competent practice and that strengths-based treatment approaches may serve as an effective adjunct or alternative to traditional treatment approaches for substance use disorders. While additional research is needed to further our understanding of the effectiveness of this approach, preliminary results indicate that there are numerous therapeutic advantages associated with the strengths-based perspective and its use with substance abusing populations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Substance abuse -- Treatment -- Case studies; Positive psychology -- Case studies; Substance abuse -- Treatment -- Research

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Tuttle, Amy