|Title||Marital Quality and Alcohol Use among Couples in Mid- and Later-Life.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||Bulanda, JRoebuck, Curl, AL, Roberts, ARestorick|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Gerontology|
|Keywords||actor-partner interdependence model, Drinking, Marriage, relationship satisfaction|
Spouses influence one another's drinking behavior, but little research has explored how relationship quality may impact older couples' alcohol use. Using data from the 2014-2018 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and actor-partner interdependence models, we examined how marital quality is related to total alcohol consumption and risk of heavy drinking for married couples over age 50. Neither husbands' nor wives' perceptions of negative marital quality were related to changes in heavy drinking or number of drinks consumed over the observation period. However, wives' positive marital quality was associated with increased risk of heavy alcohol use for both wives and husbands, and with an increase in the number of drinks wives consume over time. Couples over age 50 do not appear to use alcohol as a way of coping with negative marital relationships, but rather may increase their drinking in the context of positive relationships.