The effect of marital status on alcohol consumption has long been debated in the literature. The debate is complicated by the lack of complete information about union histories for respondents. Because of the diverse findings regarding alcohol consumption in the stages of union formation leading up to and beyond marriage, it is important that we begin to explicate their relationship. Our previous research using the NHANES III showed that cohabitors are more like their single counterparts, demonstrating higher levels of alcohol consumption than married respondents. We were not able, however, to assess union formation history. By including all cohabitors in one group and all married respondents in another, alcohol use differences between respondents in different stages of union formation may have been obscured.
The NLAES 92 dataset allows a more detailed examination of the stages of union formation and alcohol consumption. It is used in this study to examine not only cohabitors versus married respondents, but also the effect of multiple marriages, multiple divorces, and previous cohabitations on alcohol consumption as well as diagnoses of abuse and dependence. The “anticipatory effect” of a current engagement is also examined. Preliminary results indicate that married respondents who had previously cohabited are one third as likely to be abstainers and twice as likely to be heavy drinkers compared to married respondents who had not cohabited (p<.001). Final multivariate models will be run to control for demographic covariates, such as age, sex, race, and occupation, known to effect both marital status and alcohol use.
Learning Objectives: After reviewing the poster information on the significant differences in alcohol use and alcohol diagnoses among respondents in varying stages of union formation, participants will be able to recognize the importance of including detailed union status assignment in future analyses
Keywords: Alcohol Use, Risk Factors
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA