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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Excessive drinking among middle-aged and older adults in the United States : interpersonal and life-course perspectives Chen, Minheng


Excessive drinking has adverse effects on health, particularly among older adults. Previous studies have primarily focused on the prevalence of excessive drinking behaviors in relation to socioeconomic status, psychological depression, and life-course factors such as divorce and unemployment. However, the influence of interpersonal relations and period effects on drinking behaviors has been overlooked. This study utilizes a nationally representative survey dataset, Midlife in the United States (MIDUS), to investigate how interpersonal and socioeconomic factors have affected excessive drinking from 1995 to 2013. A modified Poisson mixture model is employed to estimate the probability of initiating excessive drinking and the frequency of excessive drinking using grouped and right-censored data. The results reveal a significant increase in the overall incidence rate of excessive drinking in 2013. Furthermore, the low-income population reduced their frequency of excessive drinking during the economic downturn between 2004 and 2013. However, the influences of different interpersonal connections on individuals' drinking habits were not statistically significant. The implications of this study highlight the health outcomes differentiated between resilient and vulnerable older adults at risk of binge drinking.

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