Multiple Group Membership

Social Model Recovery > Social Networks > Multiple Group Membership

Social model programs cultivate social networks within their defined setting (e.g., recovery homes, high school, or community center). They understand the value of multiple group membership, meaning they encourage individuals to belong to or engage with several groups. Research shows a positive feedback loop between an individual’s recovery-supporting activities and the quality of his or her social relationships with other house residents. Oxford House residents’ involvement in recovery-related activities (Alcoholics Anonymous [AA] meeting attendance, having an AA sponsor, etc.) led to an increased trust of other residents. It increased the likelihood of having a “confidant” within the house, that is, a trusted friend with whom to discuss recovery-related problems and issues. Moreover, individuals who lived in Oxford House and were engaged with a 12 Step Fellowship had better outcomes than those only engaged in 12 Step.

From an ecological system perspective, the multiple group membership concept can be applied at the greater community and society level. Network weaving or cultivating a network of networks provides synergistic benefits to individuals, organizations, and systems.

Value to Individuals Value to Organizations Value to Systems
Gain peer leader to peer leader support Improve performance Build a community of consequence
Increase knowledge and skills Build leadership capacity Law of Increasing Returns
Help more people recover Communicate broader and faster Rapid, scalable growth
Get better connected Accomplish goals that cannot be achieved alone Synergy