Life events and alcohol consumption among mature adults: a longitudinal analysis.

TitleLife events and alcohol consumption among mature adults: a longitudinal analysis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsPerreira, KM, Sloan, FA
JournalJ Stud Alcohol
Date Published2001 Jul
ISSN Number0096-882X
Call Numberpubs_2001_Perriera_KJAlcStud.pdf
KeywordsAdaptation, Psychological, Aged, Alcohol Drinking, Employment, Family, Health Status, Humans, Life Change Events, Longitudinal Studies, Middle Aged, Social Support, Stress, Psychological

OBJECTIVE: Four waves of the Health and Retirement Study were used to examine changes in alcohol consumption co-occurring and following stress associated with major health, family and employment events.

METHOD: The final sample consisted of 7,731 (3,907 male) individuals between the ages of 51 and 61 at baseline. We used multinomial logit analysis to study associations between important life events and changes in alcohol consumption over a 6-year study period. Interactions between stressful life events, gender and problem drinking were also evaluated.

RESULTS: Most persons (68%) did not change their use of alcohol over the entire 6 years. Hospitalization and onset of a chronic condition were associated with decreased drinking levels. Retirement was associated with increased drinking. Widowhood was associated with increased drinking but only for a short time. Getting married or divorced was associated with both increases and decreases in drinking, with a complex lag structure. A history of problem drinking influenced the association between certain life events (e.g., divorce and retirement) and changes in drinking. Gender modified the association between losing a spouse and changes in drinking.

CONCLUSIONS: Even after controlling for problem drinking history, social support and coping skills, changes in drinking behavior were related to several life events occurring over a 6-year period for a national cohort of individuals in late middle-age. The magnitude of these relationships, however, varied by gender and problem drinking history.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

Stress/Drinking Behavior/Family Relations/Adults/Life Events/Alcohol Abuse

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalJ Stud Alcohol
Citation Key6733
PubMed ID11513228
Grant ListR01 AA12162-01 / AA / NIAAA NIH HHS / United States
T32HS00032 / HS / AHRQ HHS / United States