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Problem Drinking Associated with Delayed Marriage and Early Separation

Posted in Alcohol Abuse

 A new study examines the relationship between alcohol use and the timing of when an individual gets married and divorced, and found that alcohol dependence was a strong predictor of both delays in marriage and early divorce.

Lead author Mary Waldron, assistant professor at the Indiana University School of Education, said that few studies have looked at the involvement of alcohol on the timing in marital transitions. She said that previous studies have found associations between adolescent substance use and early marriage or cohabitation, but many of the studies did not follow participants past their 20s, so the outcomes of the marriages or unions were not known.

For the study, the researchers surveyed more than 5,000 Australian twins in the early 1980s, looking at the physical and psychological manifestations of alcohol dependence, including age of onset. They also looked at the age of first marriage and separation in the twins who were between the ages of 28 and 92 at the last assessment.

The results found a strong association between alcohol dependence and delayed marriage, as well as early separation. The study also found that genetic influences played a role in these associations, for women and men.

Waldron said that additional research is needed to better understand the role that genes play, heritable genes seem to be important. Waldron added that the study adds evidence to the idea that problem drinking doesn’t just affect the drinker, but his or her loved ones as well.

She said that young adults who drink alcohol should consider the long-term effects of drinking on marriage, and that problem drinking can lead to delayed marriage and early separation.

Those who believe they may have a problem with alcohol consumption should seek alcohol treatment as soon as possible. It could save a life, and a marriage.

Source: Science Daily, Alcoholism Can Affect Both Timing and Overall Survival of Marriage, January 18, 2011