Parental psychopathology moderates the influence of parental divorce on lifetime alcohol use disorders among Israeli adults

Ronald G. Thompson, Dvora Shmulewitz, Jacquelyn L. Meyers, Malki Stohl, Efrat Aharonovich, Baruch Spivak, Abraham Weizman, Amos Frisch, Bridget F. Grant, Deborah S. Hasina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Parental divorce and psychopathology are well-documented risk factors for alcohol use disorders (AUD) in the United States and other countries where divorce is common and per capita total alcohol consumption is moderate to high. However, little is known about these relationships in countries where divorce and alcohol problems are less common, such as Israel. Methods: Israeli adult household residents (N= 797) age 21-45 were interviewed in person between 2007 and 2009. Logistic regression models were used to examine main and additive interaction effects of parental divorce and psychopathology on lifetime DSM-IV AUD, adjusting for age, gender, and ethnicity. Results: Parental divorce (OR. = 2.18, p≤. 0.001) and parental psychopathology (OR. = 1.61, p≤. 0.01) were independently associated with lifetime AUD and, when considered together, showed significant interaction (p= 0.026). Specifically, the effect of divorce on AUD was only significant among those who also reported parental psychopathology. Conclusions: This is the first study showing the influence of parental divorce and psychopathology on risk for AUD among Israeli adults, where both divorce and AUD are less common than in the United States. Alcohol prevention and treatment professionals should recognize that children who experience parental divorce and/or psychopathology could be more vulnerable to later developing AUD than those whose parents remain together and without psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2014


  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Israel
  • Parental divorce
  • Parental psychopathology


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