New study finds that a spouse's family history of alcohol problems can influence their partner's drinking

August 24, 2020

A new study by EDGE Lab Associate Director, Jessica Salvatore, to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science examines the relationship between one's risk for developing alcohol use disorder (AUD) and the parental history of AUD of one's spouse. 

Using marital information on more than 3000,000 couples from the Swedish national data, Dr. Salvatore and her co-authors found that marriage to a spouse with a predisposition toward alcohol use disorder increased one's risk for developing AUD; that increased risk was not explained by socioeconomic status, the spouse’s AUD status, nor contact with the spouse’s parents; and that this increased risk reflected the psychological consequences of the spouse having grown up with an AUD-affected parent rather than genetics.

To learn more about the study in Jessica Salvatore's words, visit the VCU News Press Release.

To read the publication, visit Disentangling Social-Genetic From Rearing-Environment Effects for Alcohol Use Disorder Using Swedish National Data