COVID-19 psychological and financial stress and their links to drinking: A dyadic analysis in romantic couples.

Lindsey M. Rodriguez, Dana M. Litt, Sherry H. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented event for the entire world. Stay-at-home orders, many children being taught at home, health anxieties, and the subsequent economic downturn have collectively resulted in significant stress. Recent work has established that some individuals report drinking more in response to experiencing pandemic-related stress, but data has largely been limited to individuals and to psychological stress. Methods: This research investigated how own (actor) and partner psychological and financial stress about the pandemic were associated with alcohol consumption, high-intensity drinking frequency, coping motives, and alcohol-related problems in a sample of 118 couples during the month of July 2020. We also explored whether own (actor) and partner effects were moderated by gender. Results: Results using indistinguishable Actor–partner interdependence models (APIMs) demonstrated that own psychological stress was associated with higher scores on all drinking indices, and own financial stress was associated with higher coping motives and alcohol-related problems. Partner psychological and financial stress was related to own greater endorsement of coping motives, and partner financial stress was related to own greater endorsement of alcohol-related problems. In APIMs with mixed-sex couples, men’s psychological and financial stress were positively related to both his own and his partner’s drinks per week, high-intensity drinking, and coping motives. Men’s financial stress was also positively related to his own and his partner’s alcohol-related problems. Conclusions: Results provide considerable insight into couple dynamics related to pandemic stress and have direct implications for alcohol prevention and treatment efforts as we navigate this serious crisis. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-390
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • actor– partner interdependence models
  • alcohol use
  • coping motives

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