Research has linked a partner’s or spouse’s drinking with changes in alcohol-related behaviours, but few studies have considered only cohabiting relationships. A new study published in Drug & Alcohol Review sought to determine if a cohabiting partner’s drinking habits are influenced by their partner’s consumption.
In the analysis of survey data on 1,483 newly cohabiting, Australian heterosexual couples, a respondent’s own drinking was a stable and significant predictor of future consumption, and it was a greater predictor of later drinking than their partner’s. A woman’s consumption generally exerted significant influence on her male partner’s later consumption, while a man’s drinking had no effect for all but the first year following cohabitation.
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