Men, on the other hand, spend less time with their drinking buddies and more with their wives after tying the knot. The result? Married men down fewer beers than their single counterparts.
The study, being presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Denver, Colo., also reveals divorced men are at particularly high risk of alcohol abuse.
Researchers have in the past investigated differences in drinking between single and married people, but the new study is the first to look at alcohol use among different types of unmarried people: the never-married, the divorced and the widowed. Sociologists from the University of Cincinnati, Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University and the University of Texas at Austin looked at longitudinal data from 5,305 men and women from Wisconsin who answered questionnaires about alcohol use in 1993 and then again 2004. The participants reported how many drinks they consumed in a month and whether they had any history of drinking problems. The researchers combined this quantitative data with 120 qualitative in-depth interviews of never-married, married, divorced and widowed men and women conducted over the past decade.