According to a new study out of Texas suggests the characteristics of women married to alcoholic men may play a role in the problem. Clinical and Experimental Research, found women married to alcoholics tend to be less likely to be homemakers and more likely to meet the criteria for alcoholism themselves. They also were found to more likely to smoke and use illicit drugs.
On the other hand, the study determined women married to alcoholics are no more likely than other women to have other major psychiatric disorders and did not report a higher rate of alcohol abuse themselves.
Marc Schuckit and colleagues from the Healthcare System interviewed 250 women whose husbands had been involved in an earlier study of sons of alcoholics. Ninety-two of the women had husbands who developed alcoholism. They were compared with the other 140 women whose husbands did not go on to become alcoholics.
The goal of the study was to learn more about the men who become alcoholics in order to better understand the underlying causes of the disease and to be able to help the offspring of these men. The earlier phase of the study uncovered that half of male alcoholics have alcohol-dependent fathers and grew up with perceived low levels of nurturing. Based on the findings of this research, Schuckit says the next step is to look at the onset and course of problems in the alcoholic male as well as behavioral and psychological problems in the children.