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J Stud Alcohol. 2003 Jul;64(4):531-46.

Psychosocial outcomes of alcohol involvement and dysphoria in women: a 16-year prospective community study.

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Substance Abuse Research Center, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, 1285 Franz Hall, Box No. 951563, Los Angeles, California 90095-1563, USA.



Alcohol involvement, dysphoria, and their combined effects, may have long-term psychosocial consequences. However, because of weaknesses in existing literature, the exact relationships are unclear, as are the relative contributions of either construct or their combined effects to later psychosocial outcomes. This study tests the relationships between these conditions during late adolescence andyoung adulthood as predictors of adult marital, relational and job satisfaction; divorce; perceived opportunity; and job stability. We also test the influence of a change (increase or decrease) in alcohol involvement, dysphoria, or their combined association, on adult psychosocial functioning.


This study used three waves of data from an ethnically diverse, longitudinal community sample (N = 305 women) assessed over a 16-year span. The measures used have established validity and reliability.


Structural equation models revealed that a second-order factor reflecting alcohol involvement and dysphoria during young adulthood was a stronger predictor of psychosocial maladjusument in adulthood than either alcohol involvement or dysphoria alone, predicting decreased satisfaction in multiple psychosocial domains (marriage, relationships and employment). An increase in the shared association between alcohol involvement and dysphoria from late adolescence to young adulthood reduced adult perceived opportunity.


Early intervention is crucial. Clinicians should emphasize the screening for and treatment of alcohol involvement, dysphoria, and their combined effects, in late adolescence and young adulthood. Psychoeducational and treatment efforts to raise awareness of long-term consequences of these conditions are critical.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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