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J Fam Psychol. 2013 Apr;27(2):303-13. doi: 10.1037/a0031881.

Hazardous drinking and family functioning in National Guard veterans and spouses postdeployment.

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1
Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Michigan State University, 3B Human Ecology, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. blowa@msu.edu

Abstract

The current study examined rates of alcohol misuse among National Guard (NG) service members and their spouses/partners, concordance of drinking behaviors among couples, and the effects of alcohol misuse, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on three measures of family functioning. This study is important because it addresses the topics of heavy drinking and family functioning in an at-risk population-NG service members returning from a combat zone deployment. We surveyed NG service members (1,143) and their partners (674) 45-90 days after returning from a military deployment. Service member rates of hazardous drinking were 29.2% and spouses/partners 10.7%. Of the 661 linked couples, 26.2% were discrepant where only one member met the criteria for hazardous drinking and 5.4% were congruent for alcohol misuse where both members met hazardous drinking criteria. Service members belonging to either congruent or discrepant drinking groups were more distressed in their marriages/relationships than those in the nonhazardous group. In dyadic analyses, an unexpected partner effect was found for parenting outcomes; that is, when service members drink more, their spouses/partners are less stressed when it comes to parenting. Importantly, both service member and spouse/partner depression was significantly associated with negative family outcomes. Results from this study suggest that when working with these families, it is important to understand the drinking status of both soldier and spouse and to treat depression in addition to alcohol misuse.

PMID:
23544925
DOI:
10.1037/a0031881
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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