Husbands' Influence on Wives' Drinking: Testing a Relationship Motivation Model in the Early Years of Marriage

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Previous research indicates that husbands' drinking before marriage is predictive of wives' drinking after marriage. A relationship motivation model was tested in which this influence was moderated by wives' dependence, relationship satisfaction, peer group size, and the belief that alcohol positively impacts relationships. Newlyweds were assessed at the time of marriage and were reassessed at their 1st and 2nd anniversaries. Results supported a relationship motivation model. Husband-to-wife drinking influence was moderated by wives' interpersonal dependence, number of peers, and positive relationship alcohol expectancies. The direction of the spousal influence changed in the 2nd year of marriage, with wives' drinking over the 1st year predicting husbands' drinking in the 2nd. Implications with respect to marriage and the drinking partnership are discussed.

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