This study evaluated whether recent family member alcohol and substance use problems (ASP) and density of family ASP (i.e., number of members with ASP) predict alcohol-related problems and drug use-related problems among middle-aged and older adults. Data were drawn from participants (age 42–93 years, n = 2168) in the longitudinal Midlife in the United States Study (MIDUS). Poisson regression models revealed that adults’ alcohol- and drug use-related problems were predicted by similar problems among family members. In particular, parent and partner ASP, but not child ASP, predicted alcohol-related problems in the middle-aged and combined samples, while only partner ASP predicted participants’ drug use-related problems. In addition, density of family ASP predicted alcohol-related problems, but not drug use-related problems. There were no gender interactions. Study findings highlight that understanding how adult children, spouses, and aging parents impact each other’s substance use should be a priority of future aging and family research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)