142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Pathways in The Villages: An analysis of alcohol consumption and stress utilizing structural equation modeling

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sarah Fishleder, BA , College of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Schonfeld Lawrence, PhD , Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Carla L. VandeWeerd, PhD , Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Tampa, FL
Heather D. Blunt, PhD, MPH, CPH, CHES , Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Jaime Corvin, PhD, MSPH , Global Health, Univeristy of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Donna Petersen, ScD, MHS , College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Research indicates increasing trends among older adults toward heavy and abusive drinking, often triggered by stresses associated with aging.  Among community-dwelling older adults, however, these patterns often correspond with social activities. To better understand these relationships, the purpose of this study is to map the effects of stress on drinking in community-dwelling older adults.

The Villages, an active retirement community in central Florida with a focus on healthy, active living, is home to almost 90,000 adults over the age of 55. In 2012, a population based needs assessment was conducted in partnership with USF Health.  33,119 assessments were completed and returned for analysis.   The AUDIT-C, a three-item subscale was employed to assess alcohol use.  A structural equation model was utilized to analyze the relationship of stress and use.

Hazardous drinking was reported in n=1,600 (15.4%) of respondents, rates slightly higher than the general population of older adults, which has been shown to be around 10%.   Measured variables of total health problems, poor general health, lack of physical activity and depressive symptoms loaded strongly and significantly into the factor of stress. Stress was shown to have a significant, negative correlation with risk of hazardous drinking (β=-.16, p<.000, R2=.02).

Results suggest that residents at The Villages do not use alcohol as a means of coping with stress; a stark difference from hazardous drinkers who reside in such planned communities.  The small variance implies this reduction may not be due to a health-related inability to consume.  Implications for successful aging are discussed.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe patterns of alcohol use in a community-dwelling population of older adults Explain the relationship between stress and alcohol use in aging populations Discuss implications for successful aging

Keyword(s): Aging, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have two graduate degrees (MA and MPH) in health behavior and have served as project manager since inception of the project. My specific research interests are successful aging, substance abuse and decision making
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.