ERIC Number: ED270655
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Change and Stability in Maximum Annual Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol-Related Problems among Aging Males: A 19-Year Follow-Up Study.
Research has consistently shown that among the non-institutionalized elderly, prevalence rates of heavy alcohol use and problem drinking are relatively small in comparison to younger age groups. This study examines how maximum annual alcohol consumption and problem drinking change as a concomitant of the aging process. This study of alcohol-use habits of the elderly helps to complete the understanding of how drinking styles evolve across the life span. A subsample (N=85) of 246 males who were first interviewed as a part of a random household drinking study in 1964 were reinterviewed 19 years later. The results revealed that decreases in drinking were likely to occur at the heavier levels of maximum number of drinks taken on a single occasion during the past year by the men in the longitudinal sample. Among the men who changed their drinking patterns, decrease was 8.6 times more likely to occur than increase. Of the men who had experienced at least one alcohol-related problem prior to 1964, one-half reported having at least one such problem during the follow-up period. Initiation of problem drinking among some men who did not report alcohol-related problems in 1964 was an unusual pattern. Despite limitations of this study, the findings are useful in interpreting the much-replicated cross-sectional finding of a decrease in problem drinking and heavy consumption during the latter part of the life course. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Council on Alcohol (San Francisco, CA, April 18-21, 1986).