Retirement, Social Support, and Drinking Behavior: A Cohort Analysis of Males with a Baseline History of Problem Drinking

By Bacharach, Samuel B.; Bamberger, Peter A. et al. | Journal of Drug Issues, Summer 2007 | Go to article overview

Retirement, Social Support, and Drinking Behavior: A Cohort Analysis of Males with a Baseline History of Problem Drinking


Bacharach, Samuel B., Bamberger, Peter A., Cohen, Ayala, Doveh, Etti, Journal of Drug Issues


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 severity 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.

INTRODUCTION

Problem drinking poses serious health risks among older Americans, affecting up to 17% of adults aged 60 or older (over 21% of males 50 and older) (Blow, 1998) and costing the economy over $60 billion per year in the cost of alcohol-related hospitalizations alone (Blow, Barry, & Fuller, 2002; Schonfeld & Dupree, 1995). Although a range of biological, cognitive, social, and psychiatric factors are linked to the precipitation and exacerbation of drinking problems among the elderly (King, Van Hasselt, Segal, & Hersen, 1994), in recent years studies have focused increasingly on the role of retirement in the onset and exacerbation of drinking problems among older Americans (Bacharach, Bamberger, Sonnenstuhl, & Vashdi, 2004). Most of these studies have been grounded on the assumption that retirement is a stressful life event and generally dysphoric experience which serves as "an invitation to increased alcohol consumption or abuse" (Ekerdt, De Labry, Glynn, & Davis, 1989, p. 347). To date, however, the results of these studies have been largely inconclusive, with some studies finding a positive association between retirement and problematic drinking behavior among older individuals (Ekerdt et al., 1989; Perreira & Sloan, 2001), others finding retirement to be associated with fewer drinking problems and lower levels of alcohol consumption (Gallo, Bradley, Siegel, & Kasl, 2001; Neve, Lemmens, & Drop, 2000; Roman & Johnson, 1996), and still others finding no direct impact on problem drinking (Bacharach et al., 2004).

One explanation for these inconclusive findings is that the degree to which an association is found between retirement and drinking may very much depend on the composition of the sample under investigation, and in particular, the degree to which the sample is composed of individuals with a baseline history of heavy or problematic drinking. More specifically, a number of studies suggest that for the vast majority of older adults who either consume alcohol moderately or abstain altogether, drinking behavior remains relatively stable into more advanced ages, with most of the variance in drinking behavior over time being limited to those older adults having a baseline history of heavy or problem drinking (Atkinson, Toison, & Turner, 1990; Liberto, Oslin, & Ruskin, 1992). This would suggest that to the extent that retirement has a salient influence on drinking behavior, these effects may be most manifest among those having a baseline history of drinking problems. Nevertheless, to date, no study has directly examined the link between retirement and the drinking behavior of this unique group of older adults. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Retirement, Social Support, and Drinking Behavior: A Cohort Analysis of Males with a Baseline History of Problem Drinking
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.