Substance Use Behaviors and the Timing of Family Formation During Young Adulthood

Bohyun Joy Jang, Megan E. Patrick, Megan S. Schuler

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Scopus citations


    The impact of substance use on the life course of young adults can be substantial, yet few studies have examined to what extent early adult substance use behaviors are related to the timing of family formation, independent of confounding factors from adolescence. Using panel data from the Monitoring the Future study (N~20,000), the current study examined the associations between three substance use behaviors (i.e., cigarette use, binge drinking, and marijuana use) and the timing of family formation events in young adulthood. Survival analysis and propensity score weighting addressed preexisting differences between substance users and nonusers in the estimation of the timing of union formation (i.e., marriage, cohabitation) and parenthood. Results for young adult substance users showed general patterns of reduced rates of marriage and parenthood and increased cohabitation during young adulthood. Variations were evident by substance and sex.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1396-1418
    Number of pages23
    JournalJournal of Family Issues
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The analyses and manuscript preparation were funded by Grants DA037902 and AA023504 to M. E. Patrick from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, respectively, and data collection for the Monitoring the Future was funded by Grants DA001411 and DA016575 to L. D. Johnston from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.


    • cohabitation
    • marriage
    • parenthood
    • social roles
    • substance use
    • young adulthood


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