Changes in Drug Use During Young Adulthood: The Effects of Parent Alcoholism and Transition Into Marriage

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The present study examined the changes in drug use during the transition from emerging adulthood into young adulthood among a community sample of children of alcoholics (COAs) and demographically matched non-COAs. Consistent with national data, the non-COAs significantly decreased their drug use during this time, but the COAs did not significantly decrease their use. On the basis of role compatibility theory, the authors next examined whether marital status mediated or moderated this difference between COAs and non-COAs in linear drug use growth trajectories. In support of mediation, the authors found that COAs were significantly less likely than non-COAs to be currently married and that, for male participants, marriage was significantly associated with greater decreases in drug use during the mid to late 20s.

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