Gender and age differences in the associations between family social roles and excessive alcohol use

Rebecca J. Evans-Polce, Bohyun Joy Jang, Jennifer L. Maggs, Megan E. Patrick

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Scopus citations


    Background: Familial social roles are known to have important links with both acute and chronic excessive alcohol use. However, whether and how these links vary across adulthood and by gender is not well understood and would provide insight into populations most at risk for excessive alcohol use. Methods: This study used data from those ages 18 to 60 in the National Epidemiologic Study of Alcohol and Related Conditions-III survey (N=28,475). We examined the gender- and age-varying associations of current marital status (married vs. divorced/separated vs. never married) and parental status (parent vs. not) with acute (binge drinking) and chronic (exceeding weekly drinking guidelines) excessive alcohol use using time-varying effect modelling. Results: Both marital and parental statuses were inversely associated with acute and chronic excessive alcohol use at most ages, however the magnitude of these associations and gender differences in these associations varied by age. There were greater differences between adults who were married vs. never married and parents vs. not in excessive alcohol use during young adulthood as compared to later adulthood. The association of parental status with acute excessive alcohol use was stronger for women compared to men in young adulthood. Conclusions: Gender and age should be considered when examining risk and protective factors, particularly in examining the role of parenthood in acute excessive alcohol use. These findings will help target populations most at risk for chronic and acute excessive alcohol use.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number112664
    JournalSocial Science and Medicine
    StatePublished - Jan 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This research was supported by grants R01 AA023504 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and R01 DA037902 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (PI: Megan Patrick). Authors have no conflicts of interest to declare. Appendix A

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2019 Elsevier Ltd


    • Alcohol
    • Familial social roles
    • Marriage
    • Parenthood
    • Sex differences
    • Time-varying effect models


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