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Sex Differences in Psychosocial Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Cynthia Robbins
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 30, No. 1 (Mar., 1989), pp. 117-130
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2136917
Page Count: 14
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Sex Differences in Psychosocial Consequences of Alcohol and Drug Abuse
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Abstract

This paper reports analyses of the 1985 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse to evaluate three perspectives on sex differences in the relationship of psychosocial problems to levels of substance use. The results are more consistent with a styles of deviance perspective than with either the generalized feminine vulnerability or the convergence theses. Compared to women, men report higher levels of alcohol and drug abuse during the past year and are more likely than women to have experienced each of 17 psychosocial problems resulting from alcohol or drug use. Significant sex by substance use interaction tests for problem indices and for individual problems suggest that substance abuse is related more strongly to intrapsychic problems among women and to problems in social functioning among men. Decompositions of the sex differences in mean levels of psychological and social/behavioral problems suggest that most of the differences can be explained by males' greater frequency of intoxication and drug use.

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