Heavy alcohol use in the couple context: a nationally representative longitudinal study

Foulstone, Alexis R., Kelly, Adrian B., Kifle, Temesgen and Baxter, Janeen (2016) Heavy alcohol use in the couple context: a nationally representative longitudinal study. Substance Use and Misuse, 51 11: 1441-1450. doi:10.1080/10826084.2016.1178295

Author Foulstone, Alexis R.
Kelly, Adrian B.
Kifle, Temesgen
Baxter, Janeen
Title Heavy alcohol use in the couple context: a nationally representative longitudinal study
Journal name Substance Use and Misuse   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1082-6084
Publication date 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/10826084.2016.1178295
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 51
Issue 11
Start page 1441
End page 1450
Total pages 10
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA United States
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: For young couples, a partner's heavy alcohol use may be a point of conflict and relationship distress, particularly when there are disparities in the severity of drinking across partners. Objective: The aim was to examine the longitudinal impact of discrepancies in heavy alcohol use, particularly in couples with parenting responsibilities. Methods: Data were obtained from 554 heterosexual couples (with at least one partner aged between 18 and 30 years of age) over two assessments from a well-established longitudinal study of Australian households. Results: Multilevel analyses (examining time within partners within couples) indicated a high level of couple-level variation in individual reports of relationship satisfaction. Discrepancies in heavy alcohol use were negatively associated with relationship satisfaction over the assessment period and this was significantly moderated by parenthood. More specifically, heavy drinking discrepancies were associated with lower relationship satisfaction amongst parents more than nonparents. Conclusion: Among dissatisfied couples, managing discrepancies in alcohol use and helping heavy drinking partners may be an important intervention focus, particularly when providing professional support for young parents.
Keyword Alcohol
Heavy drinking
Relationship satisfaction
Parental status
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 08 Jun 2016, 15:17:10 EST by Adrian Kelly on behalf of Centre for Youth Substance Abuse