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Drinking and Divorce

Category : Divorce Rate, News

There’s a recent study that came out that discusses drinking in marriage and how the divorce rate is raised if only one spouse drinks heavily. If they both drink, it’s not a problem. In a new article by Science 2.0, they write:

Drinking and marriage don’t mix – unless both spouses do, according to a recent paper by the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) which followed 634 couples from the time of their weddings through the first nine years of marriage.

The results: couples where only one spouse was a heavy drinker had a much higher divorce rate than other couples but if both spouses were heavy drinkers, the divorce rate was the same as for couples where neither were heavy drinkers.

Over the course of the nine-year study, nearly 50 percent of couples where only one partner drank more heavily wound up divorcing, while the divorce rates for other couples was only 30 percent. “Heavy drinking” was defined as drinking six or more drinks at one time or drinking to intoxication.
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.

“Our results indicate that it is the difference between the couple’s drinking habits, rather than the drinking itself, that leads to marital dissatisfaction, separation and divorce,” said Kenneth Leonard, PhD, RIA director and lead author of the study. “This research provides solid evidence to bolster the commonplace notion that heavy drinking by one partner can lead to divorce. Although some people might think that’s a likely outcome, there was surprisingly little data to back up that claim until now.”

To read the rest of the article click here.

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