Retirement, social support, and drinking behavior: A cohort analysis of males with a baseline history of problem drinking

Samuel B. Bacharach*, Peter A. Bamberger, Ayala Cohen, Etti Doveh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although previous research examining drinking behaviors among older adults suggests that significant life events are likely to have their strongest alcohol-related effects among those with a history of heavy or problematic drinking, to date researchers have not directly examined the association between such events and the drinking behavior of such individuals. Consequently, using longitudinal data, we examine the link between retirement as a significant life event and the seventy of problem drinking behavior of retirement-eligible males employed in blue-collar occupations and having a history of problem drinking. We find that while retirement had no significant impact on the problem drinking behavior of a control sample of 236 retirement-eligible blue-collar males with no history of problem drinking, retirement was associated with a net decline in the severity of drinking problems among those 71 retirement-eligible blue-collar males with a history of problem drinking. Much of this effect is explained by the consolidation of the latters' retirement-related social networks, suggesting that for those with a problem drinking history, retirement may provide a kind of "relief" from permissive drinking environments potentially encouraging problem drinking behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-548
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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