A new study has shed light on the fact that alcohol dependence is a strong predictor of delays and early separation in marriage.
Mary Waldron, an assistant professor at the Indiana University School of Education and colleagues recruited over 5,000 Australian twins in the early 1980s, assessing physical, psychological and physical manifestations of alcohol use, including age at onset of alcohol dependence.
They also analysed age of first marriage and age of separation from the marriage in twins who were between the ages of 28 and 92 at last assessment.
Results indicated a strong link between alcohol dependence and delayed marriage, as well as early separation. They also showed that genetic influences contributed to these associations for both men and women.
According to Waldron, additional research is needed to better understand the role of genes and their interplay with environmental influences.
"Young adults who drink alcohol may want to consider the longer-term consequences for marriage. If drinking continues or increases to levels of problem use, likelihood of marriage, or of having a lasting marriage, may decrease," she said.
The study has been released in the April 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.