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Comparative Study
, 104 (7), 1201-9

The Longitudinal Association Between Multiple Substance Use Discrepancies and Marital Satisfaction

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Comparative Study

The Longitudinal Association Between Multiple Substance Use Discrepancies and Marital Satisfaction

Gregory G Homish et al. Addiction.

Abstract

Aims: The objective of this work was to examine the relation between patterns of substance use among newly married couples and marital satisfaction over time. In particular, this work examined if differences between husbands' and wives' heavy alcohol use and cigarette smoking, rather than simply use per se, predicted decreases in marital satisfaction over the first 7 years of marriage.

Methods: Married couples (n = 634 couples) were assessed on a variety of substance use and relationship variables at the time of marriage and again at the first, second, fourth and seventh years of marriage.

Results: After controlling for key socio-demographic variables, discrepancies in husband and wife cigarette smoking and heavy alcohol use were related to significant reductions in marital satisfaction. Importantly, couples who were discrepant on both substances experienced the greatest declines in marital satisfaction over time.

Conclusions: Patterns of substance use among newly married couples are important predictors of changes in marital functioning over time. It was not simply the heavy alcohol use or cigarette smoking that predicted dissatisfaction but, rather, differences between husbands' and wives' substance use that impacted the relationship.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Interaction of Smoking and Drinking Discrepancies on Wives’ Marital Satisfaction
Figure 2
Figure 2
Interaction of Smoking and Drinking Discrepancies on Husbands’ Marital Satisfaction

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