USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


Problematic alcohol use and marital distress: An interdependence theory perspective.

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Lindsey M. Rodriguez

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This article reviews current literature examining problematic alcohol use and marital distress and introduces a new alcohol and marriage model within the theoretical framework of interdependence theory. Although marriage is generally associated with decreased heavy drinking and alcohol problems, many couples develop and maintain alcohol use disorders during committed relationships and marriage. When one person is affected by an alcohol use disorder, it both affects and is affected by their close relationships, particularly the relationship with their partner or spouse. While the causal connections between problematic drinking and marital distress are complex and only partially understood, available evidence demonstrates that the two problems often exacerbate each other, forming a detrimental cycle. Research using cross-sectional and longitudinal methods reveals covariation between the two as well as support for both causal directions. New models using the Actor–Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) are presented and structured around the concept that these reverse temporal effects may be operating through different mechanisms and with different moderators. Thus, determinants are presented for each directional effect. Finally, avenues for future research are discussed.


Abstract only. Full-text article is available through licensed access provided by the publisher.




Taylor & Francis

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.