Understanding The Role Of Storytelling In The Transformation of Female Cocaine Addicts In Narcotics Anonymnous

Open Access
Ventresca, Melissa Weida
Graduate Program:
Adult Education
Doctor of Education
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
February 01, 2012
Committee Members:
  • Patricia Angelica Cranton, Dissertation Advisor/Co-Advisor
  • Edward W Taylor, Dissertation Advisor/Co-Advisor
  • Ann Swartz, Committee Chair/Co-Chair
  • Jo Tyler, Committee Chair/Co-Chair
  • Thomas Bowers, Committee Member
  • Storytelling
  • Tranformation
  • Narcotics Anonymous
The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the role of storytelling in the transformation of female cocaine addicts in Narcotics Anonymous. For this research the primary investigator utilized a theoretical orientation of transformative learning theory and storytelling. The rationale for employing transformative learning theory is that the nature of our frames of reference can mature and become more justifiable through reflective discourse or critical reflection in dialogue in the context of storytelling. In this study eight women who regularly attended the Sunday Women’s Group Narcotics Anonymous meeting in Central Pennsylvania were recruited through a partnership between the primary investigator and the group’s organizer. Women participating in this study met entrance criteria including: being over the age of twenty-five, self-identifying as a cocaine addict, being a chronic user of cocaine, participating in Narcotics Anonymous for at least six months and attendance at the same Narcotics Anonymous meeting weekly. The primary researcher conducted semi-structured face-to-face interviews with the participants at a variety of different locations. Study participants agreed to a minimum of one physical meeting; an additional follow-up meeting was set-up, as needed, for review and clarification. The findings of this study indicated that storytelling in Narcotics Anonymous helps women maintain their sobriety. The women consistently made meaning from the stories that they heard in Narcotics Anonymous. There is a relationship between storytelling and transformative learning theory.