Relationship status and drinking-related outcomes in a community sample of lesbian and bisexual women

Cindy B. Veldhuis, Tonda L. Hughes, Laurie Drabble, Sharon C. Wilsnack, Ellen D.B. Riggle, Sharon S. Rostosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-268
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017.

Keywords

  • Alcohol use
  • bisexual women
  • hazardous drinking
  • intimate relationships
  • lesbian women
  • same-sex couples

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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