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Psychol Aging. 1990 Dec;5(4):491-501.

Life stressors, social resources, and late-life problem drinking.

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Social Ecology Laboratory, Stanford University, California.


Life stressors and social resources among late-middle-aged problem and nonproblem drinkers were studied. Problem drinkers (n = 501) reported more negative life events, chronic stressors, and social resource deficits than did nonproblem drinkers (n = 609). In a comparison of problem drinkers, men reported more ongoing stressors involving finances and friends, and fewer resources from children, extended-family members, and friends than did women. Women who are problem drinkers reported more negative life events, more ongoing difficulties with spouses and extended-family members, and fewer resources from spouses. Among both the problem and nonproblem drinkers, more stressors were associated with fewer social resources, but only within certain life domains. Late-middle-aged adults' chronic stressors and social resources helped explain their drinking behavior, depression, and self-confidence even after sex, marital status, and negative life events were considered.

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