Navigation Links
Under money strains, some older adults may turn to alcohol
Date:11/8/2011

PISCATAWAY, NJ During financial hard times, some older adults may turn to alcohol or cigarettes as a way to cope, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

The study, of more than 2,300 older Americans, found that some -- particularly men and people with less education -- were at risk of boosting their drinking if their finances took a hit.

The same correlation was seen when it came to smoking, especially among relatively younger study participants (those who were age 65 at the study's start).

The findings do not prove that financial strain, per se, was the reason for the changed drinking and smoking habits. But it is known that some people use alcohol and cigarettes as a way of coping with stress, says lead researcher Benjamin A. Shaw, Ph.D., of the State University of New York at Albany.

"When you have a stressor that's not very controllable, people may focus on something to help control their emotional response to the stressor," Shaw says.

And financial woes may be particularly stressful for older adults, he notes.

"They are out of the workforce, and they might feel like they have less time to recover or generally have less control over their financial situation," Shaw says.

The older adults in the study were surveyed periodically between 1992 and 2006, when the world was in stronger financial shape than it is now. The ongoing financial crisis, coupled with the aging population, means that the number of older adults facing money problems will probably only grow, Shaw's team says.

Overall, 16% of study participants reported increasing financial strain over the study period. Three percent reported increases in heavy drinking (more than 30 drinks a month), and 1% said they'd started smoking more.

Those odds were higher among older men who were under growing financial strain: they were 30% more likely to take up heavy drinking than men who'd remained financially stable.

The findings were similar when the researchers compared older adults with low education levels (less than high school) with their more-educated counterparts.

In contrast, older women tended to cut down on drinking when they hit financial hard times -- as did those with higher education levels.

The reasons for those differences are not clear. But Shaw speculates that older men may tend to have a harder time facing financial woes -- because they are used to being the "breadwinner," for example, or because they tend to have less social support than women do.

It's also possible that for older generations, drinking and smoking are considered less appropriate responses to stress for women.

The bottom line, according to Shaw, is that people should be aware that some older adults may respond to financial problems by turning to alcohol or smoking. Older people do often keep money difficulties to themselves, he notes; but if family members know that an older relative is in financial trouble, they can be on the lookout for possible problem drinking or increases in smoking.

In addition, Shaw says, human service agencies, and even local health departments, could play a role by setting up programs to help older adults find better ways to deal with the stress that originates from experiencing financial difficulties.


'/>"/>

Contact: Catherine Herman
cherman@albany.edu
518-956-8150
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Senator Janis Lee Sponsors Senate Resolution Supporting Kevin Saunders for Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports
2. Family Research Council: Planned Parenthood Report Oversexualizes Ten-Year-Olds, Undermines Parental Authority
3. Exploring the limits: Understanding the challenges facing Winter Olympic champions
4. Autism-Related Hypersensitivity Better Understood
5. Three NHS Trusts Choose BigHand Voice Technology Under YHCPC Framework Agreement
6. Corbett Accel Healthcare Group Mourns Passing of Founder Frank J. Corbett
7. Ex-President Clinton Undergoes Heart Procedure
8. Rhode Island Settlement Reflects Homeowner Liability for Serving Alcohol to Those Under 21, Says Providence Lawyer Mark Gemma
9. Bioniche Achieves Two Additional Milestones Under Licensing Agreement; Endo Takes up Global Rights
10. Autisms earliest symptoms not evident in children under 6 months
11. Clinical trial underway: Miniature ultrasound device could revolutionize pain relief
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, ... ... to helping both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented ... for the Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced ... feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a ... has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 ... by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of ... honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Plano, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... taking part in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients ... for an award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) in ... investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events and ... more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... 2016  VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ( www.vmsrehabsystemsinc.com ) ... measures required to build a strong and stable market ... listed on the OTC Markets-pink current trading platform. ... "We are seeing an anomaly in market trading activities ... by the Company, but shareholders and market players as ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016   Bay Area Lyme Foundation , ... Center for Tick Borne Illness , Harvard Medical ... Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, and the ... five finalists of Lyme Innovation , the ... 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ANDOVER, Mass. and SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. ... California -based mobile pulmonary function testing company, is now ... portable PFT devices developed by ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. ... PFT testing done in hospital-based labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ... CA , can get any needed testing done in the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: