Gender-related symptoms and correlates of alcohol dependence among men and women with a lifetime diagnosis of alcohol use disorders

Claudia Sannibale*, Wayne Hall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explored gender-related symptoms and correlates of alcohol dependence in a cross-sectional study of 150 men and 150 women with a lifetime diagnosis of alcohol use disorders (AUD). Participants were recruited in equal numbers from treatment settings, correctional centres and the general community. Standardized measures were used to determine participants' use of substances, history of psychiatric disorders and psychosocial stress, their sensation seeking and family history of substance use and mental health disorders. Multivariate analyses were used to detect patterns of variables associated with gender and the lifetime severity of AUD. Men had a longer history of severe AUD than women. Women had similar levels of alcohol dependence and medical and psychological sequelae as men, despite 6 fewer years of AUD. More women than men had a history of severe psychosocial stress, severe dependence on other substances and antecedent mental health problems, especially mood and anxiety disorders. There were differences in family history of alcohol-related problems approximating same-gender aggregation. The severity of a lifetime AUD was predicted by its earlier age at onset and the occurrence of other disorders, especially anxiety, among both men and women. The limitations in the generalizability of these findings due to sample idiosyncrasies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-383
Number of pages15
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Age of onset
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Childhood victimization
  • Family history
  • Gender
  • Mental health
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Psychosocial stress
  • Substance use disorders

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