Methods: This study used data from those ages 18 to 60 in the National Epidemiologic Study of Alcohol and Related Conditions-III survey (N=28,475). We examined the gender- and age-varying associations of marriage and parenthood with acute (binge drinking) and chronic (exceeding weekly drinking guidelines) excessive alcohol use using time-varying effect modelling.
Results: Both marriage and parenthood were significantly inversely associated with acute and chronic excessive alcohol use at most ages, however the magnitude of this association and gender differences in these associations varied by age. There were greater differences between adults who were married versus not and parent versus not in excessive alcohol use during young adulthood as compared to later adulthood. The associations of parent status with both acute and chronic excessive alcohol use were stronger for women in young adulthood while the associations of marital status and chronic excessive alcohol use were stronger for men in mid-adulthood.
Conclusions: Gender and developmental context should be considered when examining risk and protective factors, including familial social roles, for excessive alcohol use. This suggests social context, developmental context, and demographics are all important in understanding the populations most at risk for different types of excessive alcohol use and should be considered in alcohol prevention programs.