An email about the following line from and article I posted about earlier:
Twelve-step programs can work for people who choose that option, she said, but it’s not effective for people who are forced into such programs.
The question was whether this was an empirical statement. I haven’t seen replicated research on the subject. AA is full of people who were court-ordered and coerced by families and employers. There are all sorts of reasonable arguments against coerced attendance–that it changes AA in undesirable ways; that it might be less effective for people who are forced than for people who go voluntarily; that, for people who are unwilling, it might be less effective than alternatives; that it’s unconstitutional; that it’s wrong or unjust; that 12-step groups aren’t for everyone; etc.
Clearly, 12-steps groups sometimes doesn’t work for people who go voluntarily and sometimes works for people who are coerced/forced.