May 10, 2023 – “It’s important to measure recovery capital so we can understand the inequities that influence recovery,” says Bowen. “Without a good measure it’s hard to quantify which groups have the most access to resources and which groups are likely to struggle.

“Ultimately, I’m interested in doing something to address those disparities, and the MIRC can provide the required momentum.”

Bowen’s research team developed the MIRC in three phases that started with a wide-ranging list of possible items that were shared with a group of 44 individuals who were either service providers or people in recovery.

“We wanted initial reaction to our questions,” says Bowen. “We did a lot of tweaking and revising from the excellent feedback from phase one.”

The team then tested a draft measure with a sample of 497 people in recovery from alcohol problems (either alcohol alone, or with other drugs). Psychometric testing, a standard method to determine suitability and reliability of the elements, suggested how the items performed and the differences displayed among the respondents. “We made further changes to the measure following this phase, before testing a revised draft with a new sample of 482 participants,” says Bowen. “That’s how we arrived with the psychometric statistics showing that the MIRC is a measure of recovery capital with good reliability, validity and discrimination.”

That final measure, or “inventory,” as Bowen sometimes call it, is a novel tool, in lockstep with the tenets of recovery capital theory, that explores positive and negative capital outlined in the four categories.