Send to

Choose Destination
J Stud Alcohol Suppl. 1999 Mar;13:139-46.

Alcohol and the marriage effect.

Author information

Research Institute on Addictions, New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, & Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, State University of New York, Buffalo 14203, USA.



Research indicates a marriage effect with respect to drinking and drinking problems. This effect is characterized by less consumption and fewer problems among married men and women as compared with either single or divorced individuals.


This article reviews evidence regarding processes that might account for the marriage effect.


The literature suggests that the marriage effect reflects three processes: (1) reduced alcohol consumption triggered by the transition to marriage, (2) the deleterious effect of heavy drinking on marital quality and marital stability and (3) increased consumption in response to the transition to divorce.


Given the nature of these transitions, it is argued that transitions to marriage and divorce should be viewed as unique opportunities for adult prevention activities, but that more pre-prevention research focused on changes over these transitions is needed to help target prevention efforts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Dartmouth Journal Services
Loading ...
Support Center