Research from the University of Virginia says couples who are married or living together have less of an appetite for alcoholic drinks. If that relationship ends, look out as there’s a good chance the split will trigger a surge in drinking habits.
The Study at a Glance
Researchers studied the behaviors of over 2,400 twins (1,618 women and 782 men) who had previously taken part in the Washington State Twin Registry. Specifically, they compared the drinking habits of married twins with their single, divorced or cohabitating co-twin.
This was done to remove family-based factors such as genetics that could give life to different explanations for someone’s drinking habits.
Key Findings From the Study
- On average, married couples and those who were living together tended to drink less frequently, and when they did drink, they consumed less alcohol than their twin counterparts.
- Single men living with women were shown to drink less than married men.
- In terms of sheer quantity, single women living with men drank about the same in one sitting as married women.
- The single twins living alone were shown to drink more often and in much larger quantities.
Why is This So?
About the results, lead researcher Dr. Diana Dinescu said, “Intimate relationships tend to provide a monitoring effect that partners have on each other, which can be a real benefit in terms of drinking behavior.”
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