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


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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    • "Research investigating alcohol misuse and the associated risk factors in the military has largely been cross-sectional (Fear et al., 2007; Wilk et al., 2010) and longitudinal data examining the risk and protective factors associated with changes in alcohol misuse are limited (Schultz et al., 2014; Trautmann et al., 2015). Studies from the general population show that the psychological effects of negative life events include alcohol misuse whereas, positive life events, such as marriage, are associated with a decrease in alcohol misuse (Leonard and Rothbard, 1999; Perreira and Sloan, 2001; San José et al., 2000; Veenstra et al., 2006). This longitudinal study aims to examine the effect of military factors such as operational deployment, life events and changes in mental health status on Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores over time among a large sample of UK military per- sonnel. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: We assessed changes in Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores over time. We investigated the impact of life events and changes in mental health status on AUDIT scores over time in UK military personnel. Methods: A random representative sample of regular UK military personnel who had been serving in 2003 were surveyed in 2004-2006 (phase 1) and again in 2007-2009 (phase 2). The impact of changes in symptoms of psychological distress, probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), marital status, serving status, rank, deployment to Iraq/Afghanistan and smoking was assessed between phases. Results: We found a statistically significant but small decrease in AUDIT scores between phases 1 and 2 (mean change=-1.01, 95% confidence interval=-1.14, -0.88). Participants reported a decrease in AUDIT scores if they experienced remission in psychological distress (adjusted mean -2.21, 95% CI -2.58, -1.84) and probable PTSD (adjusted mean -3.59, 95% CI -4.41, -2.78), if they stopped smoking (adjusted mean -1.41, 95% CI -1.83, -0.98) and were in a new relationship (adjusted mean -2.77, 95% CI -3.15, -2.38). On the other hand, reporting new onset or persistent symptoms of probable PTSD (adjusted mean 1.34, 95% CI 0.71, 1.98) or a relationship breakdown (adjusted mean 0.53, 95% CI 0.07, 0.99) at phase 2 were associated with an increase in AUDIT scores. Conclusions: The overall level of hazardous alcohol consumption remains high in the UK military. Changes in AUDIT scores were linked to mental health and life events but not with deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Drug and Alcohol Dependence
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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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    ABSTRACT: Sleep is a restorative behavior essential for health. Poor sleep has been linked to adverse health outcomes among older adults; however, we know little about the social processes that affect sleep. Using innovative actigraphy data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (N = 727), we considered the role of marriage, positive marital relationship support, and negative marital relationship strain on older adults' (ages 62-90) self-reported and actigraph-measured sleep characteristics. We found that married older adults had better actigraph-estimated but not self-reported sleep characteristics than the unmarried. However, among the married, those who reported more negative aspects of their marital relationship reported more insomnia symptoms, with the association reduced when psychosocial characteristics were added to the model. The married who reported more positive aspects of their marital relationship showed better actigraph-estimated sleep characteristics; taking characteristics of the physical and mental health and home environment into account reduced this association. © American Sociological Association 2015.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of Health and Social Behavior
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    • "Attention to the breakup-crime relationship is seemingly absent from the adolescent development and romantic relationships literature, which leaves much at stake given growing evidence of its ties to emotional and behavioral issues. To date, research has demonstrated that romantic relationship breakup is tied to substance use and stalking (Davis et al. 2003; Fleming et al. 2010; Smith et al. 2012; Leonard and Rothbard 1999; Park et al. 2011), so its connection with crime is certainly possible. A few studies have considered the impact of nonmarital relationship breakup (Halpern-Meekin et al. 2013; Larson and Sweeten 2012; Sweeten et al. 2013) but the literature has been dominated by a focus on marriage. "
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    ABSTRACT: The decline and delay of marriage has prolonged adolescence and the transition to adulthood, and consequently fostered greater romantic relationship fluidity during a stage of the life course that is pivotal for both development and offending. Yet, despite a growing literature of the consequences of romantic relationships breakup, little is known about its connection with crime, especially among youth enmeshed in the criminal justice system. This article addresses this gap by examining the effects of relationship breakup on crime among justice-involved youth-a key policy-relevant group. We refer to data from the Pathways to Desistance Study, a longitudinal study of 1354 (14 % female) adjudicated youth from the juvenile and adult court systems in Phoenix and Philadelphia, to assess the nature and complexity of this association. In general, our results support prior evidence of breakup's criminogenic influence. Specifically, they suggest that relationship breakup's effect on crime is particularly acute among this at-risk sample, contingent upon post-breakup relationship transitions, and more pronounced for relationships that involve cohabitation. Our results also extend prior work by demonstrating that breakup is attenuated by changes in psychosocial characteristics and peer associations/exposure. We close with a discussion of our findings, their policy implications, and what they mean for research on relationships and crime among serious adolescent offenders moving forward.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Youth and Adolescence
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