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


Callinan, S and Rankin, G and Room, R and Stanesby, O and Rao, G and Waleewong, O and Greenfield, TK and Hope, A and Laslett, A-M, Harms from a partner's drinking: an international study on adverse effects and reduced quality of life for women, American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 45, (2) pp. 1-9. ISSN 0095-2990 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/00952990.2018.1540632


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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:alcohol-related harm, intimate partner, spouse, cultural context
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Social epidemiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Women's and maternal health
UTAS Author:Stanesby, O (Mr Oliver Stanesby)
ID Code:151428
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2022-07-28
Last Modified:2022-08-26

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