Although marriage tends to be protective against hazardous drinking among women in the general population, few studies have compared drinking rates, levels, or problems based on relationship status among sexual minority women (SMW; lesbian, bisexual). We examined associations between relationship status (committed relationship/cohabiting; committed/not cohabiting; single) and past-year drinking outcomes using data from a diverse sample of 696 SMW interviewed in wave 3 of the 17-year longitudinal Chicago Health and Life Experiences of Women study. The mean age of SMW in the sample was 40.01 (SD = 14.15; range 18–82). A little more than one-third (37%) of the sample was White, 36% was African American, and 23% Latina; 4% reported another or multirace/ethnicity. Compared to SMW in committed cohabiting relationships, single SMW were significantly more likely to be heavy drinkers. SMW in committed noncohabiting relationships were more likely to report alcohol-related problem consequences, and both single SMW and those in committed noncohabiting relationships were more likely to report one or more symptoms of potential alcohol dependence. Findings underscore the importance of exploring relationship factors that may influence drinking and drinking-related problems among SMW.
|Number of pages||25|
|Journal||Journal of Social and Personal Relationships|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2019|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/ or publication of this article: This work was supported by a University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing Internal Research Support Program (IRSP) Grant and by Research Grant No. R01 AA13328 (T.L.H, Principal Investigator) from the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)/National Institutes of Health (NIH).
© The Author(s) 2017.
- Alcohol use
- bisexual women
- hazardous drinking
- intimate relationships
- lesbian women
- same-sex couples
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science