University of Michigan Research Says Drinking Alcohol Together Is Good for Couples?

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The University of Michigan spends over $1 billion in research funding.

So far, the college has studied varying topics such as eating habits in fast food restaurants, parenting, social media, and word choice, among many.

Now, UM has done research on how drinking alcohol beverages together can affect a couple’s relationship.

According to the study, when a partner didn’t drink, the other one felt dissatisfied.

It didn’t matter how much wine the partner had. What was more important was that both of them had a drink.

Dr Kira Birditt, a research associate professor in the university’s Life Course Development Program, headed the study.

She said that their results don’t promote drinking more alcohol beverages or even changing drinking habits, but they do imply that more leisure activities done together by a couple has the potential for strengthening their relationship.

The team gathered over 2,767 married couples and analyzed their responses to the Health and Retirement survey questions.

The study has been going on for a decade, from 2006 to 2016, where the researchers asked the couples about their drinking habits, from the number of times they drink in a week to how much alcohol they consume in one sitting.

Most of the couples had been married for more than three decades (around 33 years in average), while some were still in their first year.

Aside from the questions about their drinking habits, the couples also answered queries about their married life, the personality of their partners, how they perceive their partner’s attitudes (too critical, reliable, or irritating).

The results revealed that the study had a lot more couples that drank together as opposed to only one partner drinking during leisure time.

The researchers also learned that while husbands were more prone to drinking alcohol beverages, wives who did drink found it unsatisfying when their partner didn’t.

Dr. Birditt said, “The study shows that it’s not about how much they’re drinking, it’s about whether they drink at all.”

She also said that couples in their later years and who are retired find their habits getting influenced by one another.

These are the ones who spend a lot of time together, and that the influence is largely not negative.

One professor, though, thinks that, aside from the drinking habits, the researchers should focus on the number of heavy drinkers in the survey.

Dr. Fred Blow, a professor of Psychiatry and the director of Substance Abuse Section at the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry, said that the, among the respondents, 20% of the men and 6% of the women had a significant drinking problem.

Drinking problems can greatly affect a married couple’s relationship. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy has reported that drinking problems can cause disruptions in a marriage.

It’s not the drinking, per se, that’s the problem. It’s the other problems that appear or are affected by one partner’s drinking habits.

When a partner has developed uncontrollable drinking habits, the couple will experience problems in handling finance, taking care of responsibilities at home and at work, spending time with family, and even domestic violence.

Since heavy drinkers are known to disrupt relationships, the researchers needs to take into consideration how this changes or affects the results of their study.

Rob Clark
 

SchoolCampus.org admin staff managing editor

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