Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Trace Kershaw

Second Advisor

E. Jennifer Edelman


Recovery capital is an emerging framework in the field of addiction that aims to understand substance use disorder recovery holistically by considering an individual’s access to resources across the four domains of human, physical, social, and community capital. The underrepresentation of women’s experiences in substance use research as well as the limited understanding of substance use disorder treatment’s effect on recovery capital development poses specific challenges to women’s development and maintenance of recovery capital resources while in treatment. This secondary qualitative analysis of data collected from the larger RENEW study explores the experiences of 19 women actively enrolled in substance use disorder treatment in Connecticut. Interviews occurred at two time points three months apart between February 2020 and April 2021 and aimed to elicit stories about participants’ experiences with treatment and the resources they have access to in recovery. Thematic analysis identified barriers and facilitators to recovery capital development as well as factors contributing to changes between interview time points. Four main themes in the development of recovery capital during treatment emerged. First, the direct effects of treatment, defined as clinical pathways to recovery capital, promoted resource growth primarily in the domains of human and physical capital. Second, non-clinical pathways, including indirect effects of treatment, facilitated maintenance of treatment-related improvements in health, social relationships, and community engagement. Third, interactions between domains promoted recovery capital resource growth across domains. Finally, goals and expectations for treatment motivated resource development across study time points. This study’s findings have important implications for operationalization of the recovery capital framework and highlight the importance of more robust integration of non-clinical interventions in clinical settings.


This thesis is restricted to Yale network users only. It will be made publicly available on 05/10/2024