Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Rehabilitation Counseling

First Advisor

John J. Pietrofesa


The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of codependency and emotional intelligence before and after participating in an educational intervention for codependency at a workshop on substance abuse. The setting for the study was a substance abuse workshop that was an elective for graduate students who were enrolled in counseling programs at a large urban university. A total of 23 individuals volunteered to participate in the study. The levels of emotional intelligence were investigated to determine if the characteristics sometimes associated with codependency could be better explained by emotional intelligence (EI). The participants completed three surveys, The Holyaoke Codependency Index, The Emotional Intelligence Scale, and a researcher-developed demographic survey prior to beginning and following completion of the substance abuse workshop, with a session on codependency. The workshop consisted of two weekends with a one month interval between the sessions. The data from the surveys were analyzed using PASW - Ver. 18.0. Statistical significance was found for the correlation between external focus (a measure of codependency) and emotion management (a measure of emotion management). The finding indicated that as scores for external focus increased, the scores on emotion management decreased. No statistically significant changes in the levels of codependency or emotional intelligence were found following participation in the substance abuse workshop with an educational session on codependency. Limitations of this study were greatly influenced by small sample size and time span over which the study was conducted. Suggestions for further research included replicating the study with a sample from more than one university to determine the effects of curricular differences on the development of codependency and emotional intelligence. A longitudinal study was suggested to determine how emotional intelligence changes with age and experiences.