Alcohol and the marriage effect

Research Institute on Addictions, New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, & Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, State University of New York, Buffalo 14203, USA.
Journal of studies on alcohol. Supplement 04/1999; 13(s13):139-46. DOI: 10.15288/jsas.1999.s13.139
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Research indicates a marriage effect with respect to drinking and drinking problems. This effect is characterized by less consumption and fewer problems among married men and women as compared with either single or divorced individuals.
This article reviews evidence regarding processes that might account for the marriage effect.
The literature suggests that the marriage effect reflects three processes: (1) reduced alcohol consumption triggered by the transition to marriage, (2) the deleterious effect of heavy drinking on marital quality and marital stability and (3) increased consumption in response to the transition to divorce.
Given the nature of these transitions, it is argued that transitions to marriage and divorce should be viewed as unique opportunities for adult prevention activities, but that more pre-prevention research focused on changes over these transitions is needed to help target prevention efforts.

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    • "Having a spouse to look after you matters for health behaviors. Prior studies observe a reduction of excess alcohol consumption and tobacco use associated with marriage (Duncan, Wilkerson, and England 2006; Fleming, White, and Catalano 2010; Leonard and Rothbard 1999). Clinical and epidemiological studies indicate that regular alcohol abuse and smoking can disrupt sleep (Roehrs and Roth 2001; Zhang et al. 2006). "
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