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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2019;45(2):170-178. doi: 10.1080/00952990.2018.1540632. Epub 2018 Nov 29.

Harms from a partner's drinking: an international study on adverse effects and reduced quality of life for women.

Author information

1
a Centre for Alcohol Policy Research , La Trobe University , Bundoora , Australia.
2
b Centre for Social Research on Alcohol & Drugs , Stockholm University , Stockholm , Sweden.
3
c Centre for Public Health , National Institute of Mental Health and NeuroSciences , Bangalore , India.
4
d School of Population and Global Health , University of Melbourne , Melbourne , Australia.
5
e International Health Policy Program (IHPP) , Ministry of Public Health , Nonthaburi , Thailand.
6
f Alcohol Research Group , Public Health Institute , Emeryville , CA , USA.
7
g Department of Public Health and Primary Care , Trinity College , Dublin , Ireland.
8
h National Drug Research Institute , Curtin University , Perth , Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Partners of heavy drinking individuals can be detrimentally affected as a result of their partner's drinking.

OBJECTIVES:

The aim of this study was to identify the proportion of heterosexual intimate partner relationships with a heavy drinking male that resulted in reported alcohol-related harm and to investigate the impact of this on well-being in 9 countries.

METHODS:

This study used survey data from the Gender and Alcohol's Harm to Others (GENAHTO) Project on Alcohol's Harm to Others in 9 countries (10,613 female respondents, 7,091 with intimate live-in partners). Respondents were asked if their partners drinking had negatively affected them as well as questions on depression, anxiety, and satisfaction with life.

RESULTS:

The proportion of partnered respondents that reported having a harmful heavy drinking partner varied across countries, from 4% in Nigeria and the US to 33% in Vietnam. The most consistent correlate of experiencing harm was being oneself a heavy episodic drinker, most likely as a proxy measure for the acceptability of alcohol consumption in social circles. Women with a harmful heavy drinking partner reported significantly lower mean satisfaction with life than those with a partner that did not drink heavily.

CONCLUSIONS:

Harms to women from heavy drinking intimate partners appear across a range of subgroups and impact on a wide range of women, at least demographically speaking. Women living with a heavy drinking spouse experience higher levels of anxiety and depression symptoms and lower satisfaction with life.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol-related harm; cultural context; intimate partner; spouse

PMID:
30495983
PMCID:
PMC6478171
[Available on 2020-01-01]
DOI:
10.1080/00952990.2018.1540632

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