Can Interpersonal Relationships Reduce the Risk of Alcohol Abuse?
(Fall 2016) New data implies that parents can help lower teen drinking rates. One study reported that third-graders who took part in a home-based, five-month alcohol-prevention plan were not as apt to binge drink later as seventh-graders when compared to peers who did not participate in the program. Research also revealed that a positive family support system, paired with parental supervision and stringent rules on alcohol, can lower the chances of teen binge drinking. Additionally, the findings indicated that parents who binge drink are more likely to have children who follow their example. Therefore, researchers advise that prevention efforts should also reach out to parents.
It seems that some romantic relationships may reduce the chances of alcoholism as well. Swedish researchers concluded that marriage can act as a buffer against the development of an alcohol use disorder and that individuals at highest risk for alcoholism, such as those with a family history of the disease, may benefit most from having a spouse. The longitudinal study followed over 3.2 million people born between 1960 and 1990 who were unmarried at the beginning of the investigation and reported no history of alcoholism. Data analysis found that a first marriage led to a 73% reduction of alcoholism risk in females and a 59% lower risk of alcoholism for males.
The study mentioned a caveat, though — marrying someone who now or at a later time develops alcohol problems increases an individual’s risk of acquiring issues with alcohol as well. This situation poses a greater chance of alcohol misuse or abuse than remaining single.
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