Peer and Partner Drinking and the Transition to Marriage: A Longitudinal Examination of Selection and Influence Processes


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Abstract

This study examined the longitudinal relationships among adult drinking, partner drinking, and peer drinking over the transition to marriage. Newlywed couples were assessed with respect to alcohol involvement, peer drinking, and risk factors and reassessed at their 1st anniversary. Husbands' premarital drinking was predictive of wives' drinking at the 1st anniversary, indicating partner influence. The results did not support a peer-influence hypothesis in that peer drinking at marriage was not predictive of husbands' or wives' drinking at the 1st anniversary. There was evidence, however, for a peer-selection effect, with husbands' premarital drinking predicting peer drinking for both husbands and wives. Wives' premarital drinking was unrelated to the subsequent drinking of their peers or their husbands' peers.

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