Young Women May Drink More Than Previous Generation

Alcohol consumption was higher in young women in relationships

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Dominique Brooks, M.D Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) The saying "Like mother, like daughter" may not be as true as it seems — at least when it comes to drinking habits.

A recent study found that women today drank more alcohol than their mothers did at the same age.

The study provided the first longitudinal evidence that modern young women drank more than women of an older generation.

"Seek medical care if you are having trouble controlling your drinking."

The study was conducted by Rosa Alati, PhD, of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues.

The researchers used data from the Mater University Study of Pregnancy from between 1981 and 1983. The study participants were 21-year-old pregnant women. The study authors asked the women how frequently they drank alcohol, how much they drank before they became pregnant and whether they were in a relationship.

Twenty-one years later, the daughters of those same women were 18 to 25 years old and answered the same questions. The women of the second generation were not pregnant.

The researchers found 1,053 pairs of mothers and daughters.

The women could report four levels of alcohol consumption in a month: no alcohol, up to six glasses, between six and 30 glasses and more than 30 glasses.

The investigators found that women today drank more than their mothers at the same age.

Young women today were five times more likely to consume more than 30 glasses of alcohol a month than their mothers and 2.7 times more likely to drink seven to 30 glasses of alcohol a month.

The study also found that young women a generation ago who reported having a partner drank less than their friends who were single. However, women of the later generation who had partners drank more alcohol than their single friends.

“It may be time for more aggressive anti-alcohol programs aimed at young women,” the study authors concluded.

This study appeared in the August issue of JAMA Psychiatry.

The authors did not disclose any conflicts of interest.

Review Date: 
August 6, 2014
Last Updated:
August 7, 2014