Send to

Choose Destination
Obstet Gynecol. 1992 Dec;80(6):976-80.

Psychosocial correlates of drug and heavy alcohol use among pregnant women at risk for drug use.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Boston City Hospital, Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts.



To investigate the roles of life stress, depression, and social support in the use of drugs and alcohol among pregnant women at risk for substance use because they have a substance-using partner.


This is a secondary analysis of data collected for a study of the impact of health behaviors and psychosocial characteristics on the newborns of 1226 pregnant women. Participants were interviewed during pregnancy and postpartum using a questionnaire that included instruments such as the Life Experiences Survey, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and the Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire. Drug use by women was determined by self-report and urine toxicology screens. Drug use by partners was based on maternal report.


Five hundred seventy-three women reported that they had a substance-using partner. These women were nearly five times more likely (odds ratio 4.87, 95% confidence interval 3.76-6.30) to be substance users compared with women who did not report substance use by a partner. Of these women, substance users reported more negative life events on average in the past year than did non-users (19.3 versus 15.8; P = .01). There was no difference in mean Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale scores (19.7 versus 18.7; P = .26) or in mean social support scores (78.2 versus 72.4; P = .14) between users and non-users.


Women with substance-using partners have an increased likelihood of being users themselves. Among women with substance-using partners, substance use by a pregnant women is associated with more negative life events but not with depression symptomatology scores or social support scores.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center