Children drinkers more likely to marry someone with a drinking problem

on 20 December 2018
the deeper we go, the more we discover

It is often a sad reality, that the decisions we make, be it as an adolescent or adult, about how our life will pan out, are often made too late to be fully and effectively implemented. What often gets in the way are the emotional memories formed, outside of conscious awareness, as a child but, there is a solution . . . 

How life starts, can determine how it plays out!

It is not uncommon for a client to say, "I swore to myself that I would never treat my children the way my parents treated me." The reason they came to see me, is because they are now doing exactly what they said they would not do. The comment itself is an adult conscious iteration of an outcome they desire, the outcome being, to be closer to their parent(s). An adult yearning for a childhood experience they never had. The illogical logic being, "if I behave like my parent, they will love me!" Of course, this kind of scenario is not always the case but it holds true in many clients I have worked with.  

The way that this kind of research helps clients, is the degree to which they, or their parents, are aware of it and in time to take preemptive action, an action that could lead to early intervention and prevent the seemingly doomed relationship from developing. Or in the case of an existing relationship, get both parties into some kind of therapeutic programme with the prospect of a functional and more normal loving relationship as the outcome!

It seems that many of the strategies that we develop as adults, come about as a consequence of applying an adult, logical, rational and intellectual perspective to behaviour we cannot explain. Very often this comes about as a result of the way the child mind views, analyses and stores childhood memories of a pleasant or unpleasant experience. The child mind, not too dissimilar to its adult counterpart, has to make decisions and choices relative to an emotion/feeling they are experiencing, however, their brain is not developed enough to do this in an adult way. Nevertheless, they do it in a way that makes life containable. The issue can later develop into psychopathology (mostly in the context of a behavioural disorder), which then leads to some form of dysfunctionality. And no strata of society is immune from this anomaly!

These and many other types of life issues are mostly a consequence of the disparity between episodic and semantic memory. The former being an autobiographical account of our life (our younger life, in this example), e.g. what, when, where, how etc. Many of these memories are often not even within our ability to recall, or maybe not easily so! The latter being our general knowledge of things and the more we learn, the more intellectual we become, the greater the prospect of corrupting earlier episodic memories. Therapy, especially hypnotherapy, gives us the opportunity to reevaluate life and reconsolidate corrupted childhood memories and thus lead us towards a fully functional life. The sage adage being, the earlier you come for therapy, the easier it can be to unravel the memories and the less work there often is? C'est la Vie!

Hypnotherapy stands out as one of the most effective strategic life management methods there is, especially in its ability to promote clear thinking and good states of mental wellness. The behaviours that make life challenging are often a result of too much stress, too little sleep and too little by way of clarity! So, to take back control of your mind and your life, it makes perfect sense to use a methodology that addresses the subconscious mind's role in perpetuating negative, vague and ambiguous states of mind. Hypnosis helps us to create calm relaxing states of mind that make life work better! If you would like to address any concerns you have in this direction, or, if you just want to make your life feel better,  then why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation? Hypnosis gives you the ability to have a good life! 

The objective here is to help people understand how and why we become illogically trapped into irrational emotional experiences that may actually be happening for reasons different to that which we would imagine! If you want to know more about how Hypnotherapy can help you; why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation?

For more information on the Free Consultation - Go Here Or, to book your Free Consultation today, you can do so here

The Research: 

Children of parents who have alcohol use disorder are more likely to get married under the age of 25, less likely to get married later in life, and more likely to marry a person who has alcohol use disorder themselves, according to a new study by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden.

"There are many pathways through which a parent's alcohol problems can influence our own risk for alcohol problems. One important pathway, of course, has to do with the genes that parents pass to their children," said the study's lead author, Jessica E. Salvatore, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences at VCU. "But another important pathway, which we demonstrate here, is through the social environment."

The study, "Parental Alcohol Use Disorder and Offspring Marital Outcomes," was published in the most recent issue of the journal Addiction. It is based on data from legal, medical and pharmacy registries with detailed information on 1.17 million people in Sweden who were born between 1965 and 1975.

"Although there have been many studies along these lines in the past, there were some key methodological limitations to these prior studies, including the reliance on small samples," Salvatore said. "We were able to leverage the Swedish national registries to look at these questions in a large sample of over 1 million people."

The researchers set out to discover if alcohol use disorder (AUD) -- which affects an estimated 16 million people in the United States -- among parents would predict their adult offspring's likelihood of marriage and marriage to a spouse with alcohol use disorder.

"We know from previous research that who you marry plays a big part in whether you develop an alcohol problem," Salvatore said. "What we found in this study is that who you marry is not random -- and, in fact, the people who are at greatest risk for developing an alcohol problem (because they have an affected parent) are most likely to end up with a spouse who is going to exacerbate this risk."

Researchers found that parental alcohol use disorder is associated with a higher probability of marriage at younger ages, a lower probability of marriage at older ages and a higher likelihood of marriage to an affected spouse compared with no parental alcohol use disorder.

"In this case, we found that you do marry someone who is like your parents," Salvatore said.

The researchers also found that most of these effects become stronger when the number of parents with alcohol use disorder increases from one to two. Most effects also held after statistically controlling for parents' socioeconomic status, marital history, other externalizing disorders, and the offspring's own alcohol use disorder status.

Additionally, daughters of affected mothers are more likely to have an affected spouse, the researchers found.

The researchers were interested in their findings because previous research has shown that forming and maintaining romantic relationships with "prosocial" spouses reduces one's risk of developing alcohol use disorder.

"And what we find here is that people who are at risk of developing AUD (by virtue of growing up with an AUD-affected parent) are less likely to find themselves in these types of protective marital environments," Salvatore said.

From a practical standpoint, she said, the study's findings could be useful for clinicians and others who work with the offspring of parents with alcohol use disorder to raise awareness of how parental AUD can influence the types of social environments that can increase one's risk for alcohol use disorder.

"There are large international organizations, like Al-Anon and Alateen, that are geared towards helping and supporting the family members, and in particular children of people affected by alcohol use disorders," Salvatore said. "I think that there is a role for findings like ours as part of these types of family education programs. Specifically, becoming aware of how a parent's alcohol problem might shape one's own likelihood of ending up in the kind of marriage that will increase the risk for alcohol problems may help people choose differently."

Story Source:

Materials provided by Virginia Commonwealth UniversityNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Jessica E. Salvatore, Sara Larsson Lönn, Elizabeth C. Long, Jan Sundquist, Kenneth S. Kendler, Kristina Sundquist, Alexis C. Edwards. Parental alcohol use disorder and offspring marital outcomesAddiction, 2019; 114 (1): 81 DOI: 10.1111/add.14405

Cite This Page:

Virginia Commonwealth University. "Children of problem drinkers are more likely to marry someone with a drinking problem." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2018. <>.