Dyadic associations among drinking, self-concealment, gender, and alcohol-related problems in married couples.
Prior research suggests that relationship partners’ drinking behavior tends to be associated, and that lower marital quality is associated with greater experience of alcohol-related problems. The present study extends this literature by including self-concealment, or hiding secrets about one’s self, which has been shown to have negative consequences for both one’s self and one’s partner and has been associated with lower ability to control one’s drinking and higher levels of alcohol-related problems. We expected that husbands’ and wives’ drinking would be associated both with their own and with their partners’ experience of alcohol-related problems and that this association would differ based on gender and level of self-concealment. Specifically, we hypothesized that greater self-concealment would be associated with more alcohol-related problems but that this association would differ for husbands compared to wives. The sample consisted of 154 individuals (77 dyads; 50% female) who were married. Actor-Partner Interdependence Models revealed that both own drinking and partners’ drinking were associated with experiencing more alcohol-related problems. Furthermore, associations between drinking and alcohol-related problems were marginal for women lower in self-concealment and were significant for women and men higher in self-concealment as well as men lower in self-concealment. Thus, self-concealment appears to intensify associations between drinking and alcohol-related problems. In conclusion, self-concealment may be associated with heavy and hazardous drinking, perhaps especially so in couples that self-conceal from one another. Future research may consider self-concealment as a point of intervention and perhaps discern how self-concealment is associated with more drinking and alcohol-related problems.
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
Young, C. M., Rodriguez, L. M., & Neighbors, C. (2015, November). Dyadic associations among drinking, self-concealment, gender, and alcohol-related problems in married couples. Presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Addictive Behaviors Special Interest Group for the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Chicago, IL.
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