ERIC Number: ED254772
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug-26
Reference Count: 0
Femininity Issues in Women's Alcohol Abuse.
Gomberg, Edith S. Lisansky
Alcohol studies, like most psychological studies, have traditionally focused on males. Several psychosocial theories have been used to explain male alcoholism, including dependency, the power drive, and sex role theory. This latter stance may provide a theoretical framework for the etiology of drinking which will apply to both sexes; however, reliance on psychodynamic theories leaves out a number of significant factors which contribute to female alcohol abuse, including genetics, family history, and hormonal status; and psychological components, such as inadequate coping mechanisms, impulse control problems, and role conflict. Research shows a number of differences between male and female alcoholics, in family background, in close relationships, in the development of alcoholism, in drinking behavior, and in the consequences of alcohol abuse.. Age roles are also significant, and, like sex roles, are determined both by biology and by social norms. A study of women alcoholics which compared age groups showed differences in age of drinking onset, marital and employment status, parent roles, and social networks. Women age 40 and over are most likely to seek treatment. Women alcoholics in their 20s often have problems with impulse control and the formation of adult identity, and women alcoholics in their 30s evidence the most conflict. A tremendous variability exists among women who abuse alcohol. While genetic and biological antecedents should be included in our explanations of alcohol abuse, the significance of sex role and social definitions of acceptable and unacceptable feminine behavior in the etiology of alcoholism should not be ignored. (JAC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the symposium "Femininity and Masculinity Issues as They Affect Alcohol Abuse" at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 24-28, 1984).