The study focuses on the relationship between phobic anxiety and depression, alcohol abuse, treatment and drinking outcome in female alcoholics. A structural equation analysis (LISREL) was used to test the strength and direction of predictor variables, enabling the development of models for the process of change taking place following treatment. Participants were patients attending a specific treatment programme for women with alcohol problems at Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. One hundred and twenty female alcoholics consecutively admitted during 1991-1993 were followed up 2 years after treatment. The Alcohol Use Inventory (AUI) and Symptom Check List-90 were used at intake and follow-up. Duration of problem drinking and depression at follow-up affected drinking outcome directly and negatively, whereas duration of treatment affected drinking outcome directly and positively in all our models. Phobic anxiety on the other hand affected drinking outcome negatively and indirectly, via shorter treatment duration and higher depression at follow-up. Using different outcome variables as an end product resulted in only minor changes. Thus, the model presented is viewed as robust and clinically meaningful. The results underscore the importance of phobic anxiety and recurrent or sustained depression--in addition to the pre-treatment duration of problem drinking--for the drinking outcome among female alcoholics.