Alcohol Use Disorder, Psychiatric Comorbidities, Marriage and Divorce in a High-risk Sample


Previous studies demonstrate the associations between alcohol use disorders (AUD) and marital outcomes in general population samples, and the associations between AUD and marital outcomes have tangible costs, because a body of work shows links between marriage with better health and well-being. This study made use of data from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) to better understand the associations between alcohol use disorders and marriage and divorce in high-risk families. We found that AUD is associated with lower odds of marriage and higher odds of divorce. These associations are mostly independent of common psychiatric comorbidities (e.g., depression, frequent tobacco use), with the exception that comorbid alcohol and cannabis use disorder was associated with reduced odds of marriage. Our results demonstrate the importance of AUD for both marriage and divorce in a high-risk population. Future studies addressing questions such as what mechanisms contribute to these associations would further help in clarifying the social consequences of AUD.  

Thomas, N. S., Kuo, S. I-C., Aliev, F., McCutcheon, V. V., Meyers, J. M., Chan, G., Hesselbrock, V., Kamarajan, C., Kinreich, S., Kramer, J. R., Kuperman, S., Lai, D., Plawecki, M. H., Porjesz, B., Schuckit, M. A., Dick, D. M., Bucholz, K. K., & Salvatore, J. E. (2022). Alcohol use disorder, psychiatric comorbidities, marriage and divorce in a high-risk sample. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 36(4), 364–374.