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Drinking and Divorce: Study Examines Impact of Relationships on Alcohol Use

Family Law Firm in Charlotte, North Carolina.jpgA recent article on ABCNews.com discussed a study which sought to examine alcohol’s role before and after divorce. The study, presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, looked at 5,300 people over a ten-year period and contained some surprising results.

Lead researcher Corinne Reczek, assistant professor in sociology at the University of Cincinnati, and her team looked at data collected from surveys of a random sample of 5,000 Wisconsin high school graduates of the class of 1957. Researchers conducting the study contacted each of the subjects four times over a 47-year period.

The results showed that men drank less while married than if divorced or single. In fact, men’s alcohol consumption showed a significant dip upon entering into a first marriage. Three quarters of the men who divorced blamed the end of their marriage for an increase in drinking. Unsurprisingly, men drank more during every stage of life than women. The researchers believe spending more time at home and out of the bars causes the post-marriage dip.


Women had the opposite trend as men, drinking more while married and decreasing after divorce. However, women were more likely to believe they had a drinking problem after a divorce. The researchers believe that it’s the closer association with men (their new husband) that is likely the reason for increased consumption of alcohol during marriage. Additionally, women were less likely to turn to alcohol to cope with the pain of divorce.

If you find yourself facing the prospect of divorce in Charlotte, it is best to contact experienced equitable distribution lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina like those at Arnold & Smith, PLLC who can help guide you through the often difficult process.

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