"It's really the network of these relationships -- at the biological, social and at the community level -- that appear to influence these disorders over time," he says.
The research also shows that unlike alcohol abuse and antisocial behavior, depression does not, by itself, get better over time it actually gets worse, at least in this high risk population, Zucker notes.
"Unlike the other two disorders, biological differences are a more of a constant factor in depression," he says.
The research sample included 273 adult women and their families from a four-county area in the Midwest. Drunk driving convictions involving the father were used to find the highest risk portion of the sample; a blood alcohol content of .15 was required to help ensure that the men had long standing difficulties with alcohol abuse, rather than just having been out drinking heavily for one night. The remaining families were recruited from the drunk drivers' neighborhoods.
The findings also underscore the relationship between alcohol abuse and antisocial behavior over long periods of time, says study lead author Anne Buu, Ph.D., Ph.D., a research assistant professor in the Substance Abuse Section of the U-M Department of Psychiatry. As a result, she notes, interventions targeting antisocial behavior could benefit by also systematically targeting addiction.
"Based on these findings, interventions for women with young children might have the most impact if they improve social supports, educational opportunities, access to family counseling and neighborhoods environments," Buu says.
|Contact: Ian Demsky|
University of Michigan Health System