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Married Men Drink Less
We all assume that some things change once we get married, right? But according to research, men who drink tend to stem their alcohol use once they marry but women tend to increase their drinking after marriage.
Studies overwhelmingly say involvement in social relationships benefits physical health and reduces mortality risk. The evidence linking social relationships to health and mortality is as strong as that linking cigarette smoking, blood pressure, and obesity to health. Research evidence indicates that, of the specific relationships studied, the marital relationship holds the greatest significance for health. While the married exhibit better health than the unmarried, it is not the case that any marriage is better than no marriage at all when it comes to health benefits.
Corinne Reczek of the University of Cincinnati, Tetyana Pudrovska of Pennsylvania State University, Deborah Carr of Rutgers University and Debra Umberson of the University of Texas at Austin found married men reported consuming the lowest number of drinks compared with single, divorced and widowed men.
The researchers analyzed survey data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study to explore population trends in the relationship between marriage and alcohol. They also analyzed data from two in-depth interview studies, the Marital Quality Over the Life Course Project, conducted from 2003 to 2006, and the Relationships and Health Habits Over the Life Course Study, conducted from 2007 to 2010.
The study also found no matter what marital category the men were in — single, married, divorced or widowed — men drank more than women and had a higher proportion of drinking-related problems.
However, recently divorced men reported consuming a significantly greater average number of drinks than men in long-term marriages. Women who were recently divorced or had been divorced for a long time reported more drinking-related problems.
The researchers gauged alcohol consumption by total number of drinks consumed in a month. Overall, women tended to drink more after marriage because they were keeping up with their husbands, but married people tend to drink less than non-married people, the study said. The findings are scheduled to be presented at the 107th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Denver.