Determinants of alcohol use in pregnant women at risk for alcohol consumption

Neurotoxicol Teratol. Nov-Dec 2003;25(6):659-66. doi: 10.1016/


The purpose of this investigation was to identify determinants of alcohol consumption based on a number of demographic and psychosocial variables in a group of pregnant women at risk for alcohol consumption. Data were collected on a sample of 232 pregnant females who agreed to participant in a multistate alcohol prevention intervention. The variables of interest included demographic measures of race, age, education, marital status, health status, employment status and if they had been involved in physical abuse during the past year. Additionally, psychosocial variables were collected on social support, family functioning, mental health and illicit drug use. The dependent variables of interest were any alcohol use during the pregnancy and an abuse measure that was based on a composite score generated from questions related to problems associated with alcohol behavior. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to see if the independent variables (demographic and psychosocial variables) were predictive of any alcohol use. Multiple linear regressions were conducted to ascertain if the independent measures were predictive of alcohol abuse. The results showed that race, age, physical abuse and to a lesser extent health were associated to any alcohol use and alcohol abuse. The findings with the psychosocial variables were not as robust. Nevertheless, problematic psychiatric and drug use composite scores were associated with alcohol abuse.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Demography
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Pregnant Women* / psychology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk*
  • Socioeconomic Factors