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Heavy drinking is bad for marriage if 1 spouse drinks, but not both
Date:11/21/2013

ned that this does not mean other aspects of family life are unimpaired. "While two heavy drinkers may not divorce, they may create a particularly bad climate for their children."

The researchers also found a slightly higher divorce rate in cases when the heavy drinker was the wife, rather than the husband. Leonard cautions that this difference is based on only a few couples in which the wife was a heavy drinker, but the husband was not, and that the finding was not statistically significant. He suggests that if this difference is supported by further research, it might be because men view heavy drinking by their wives as going against proper gender roles for women, leading to more conflict.

The study controlled for factors such as marijuana and tobacco use, depression and socioeconomic status, which can also be related to marital dissatisfaction, separation and divorce.

"Ultimately, we hope our findings will be helpful to marriage therapists and mental health practitioners who can explore whether a difference in drinking habits is causing conflicts between couples seeking help," Leonard said.

The study was supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the findings will appear in the December issue of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.


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Contact: Cathy Wilde
cwilde@ria.buffalo.edu
716-887-3365
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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