Substance Abuse As A Predictor Of Divorce

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Abstract This literature review focuses on substance abuse and how it correlates with divorce; specifically within the context of concordant and discordant substance abuse in married couples. It aims to assess how substance abuse impacts marital satisfaction, and if indeed it has an effect on subsequent separation and divorce. This paper will review previous studies that concluded that alcohol is a predictor of divorce, as well as those that have concluded that it is not necessarily the substance abuse itself but rather the discrepancy in the amount of substance abuse taking place between the spouses themselves. Substance abuse is becoming one of the biggest reasons why individuals, couples and families decide to seek mental…show more content…
For the purpose of this paper I will utilize the concept of substance abuse, but I will mostly be referring to alcohol as this is what most of the research is based on. Review of Literature Relationship between alcohol and divorce Alcohol use is common in the United States, and married couples are no exception. Even though alcohol consumption tends to be lower for married couples, it is still very prevalent in our society (Ostermann et al. 2005). Substance abuse has many known negative physical and mental consequences; it is common knowledge that it contributes to overall lower marital satisfaction, and studies show that it correlates with more negative and fewer positive interactions, and that it contributes to higher rates of domestic violence (Marshal, 2003). In addition to that, there are high rates of comorbidity between substance abuse and psychiatric disorders, consequently it is almost impossible to completely isolate substance abuse from other factors which might contribute to marital dissolution (Amato and Rogers, 1997). Many researchers have studied the correlation between substance abuse and divorce and that literature suggests that substance abuse lowers marital satisfaction which consequently ends in divorce (Fu & Goldman, 2000). Amato and Previtt (2003) found that
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