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Sources of informal pressure on problematic drinkers to cut down or seek treatment

Objective: To examine how patterns of expressions of concern about drinking from family members and friends differ according to the demographic characteristics of the drinker. Method: A probability sample of adult treated (n=926) and untreated (n=672) problem?drinking individuals from a Northern California county. Logistic regression analysis was used to predict having received pressure about drinking from a specific family member or friend. Results: Spouses and significant others were the most common relations to have said anything about the respondent’s drinking, suggested they cut down or given an ultimatum to enter treatment. When controlling for severity, the respondent’s degree of dependence and number of social consequences strongly predicted pressure from all sources. Having a higher income remained a strong predictor of pressure by a spouse, while having a lower income was significant in receiving pressure from siblings and other relatives and friends. Younger respondents were more likely to be pressed by a father or mother, while older respondents were more likely to be pressed by sons and daughters. Conclusions: Results show the importance of family relationships other than that with a spouse or significant other, in the efforts at informal control of drinking and efforts to seek treatment.

Authors: Room R; Matzger H; Weisner C

J Subst Use. 2004;9(6):280-95.

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