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Published in: Prevention Science 5/2023

21-01-2023

Age- and Sex-Varying Associations Between Depressive Symptoms and Substance Use from Modal Ages 35 to 55 in a National Sample of U.S. Adults

Authors: Megan E. Patrick, Yvonne M. Terry-McElrath, Sarah J. Peterson, Kira S. Birditt

Published in: Prevention Science | Issue 5/2023

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Abstract

It is important to examine normative age-related change in substance use risk factors across the lifespan, with research focusing on middle adulthood particularly needed. The current study examined time-varying associations between depressive symptoms and alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use from modal ages 35 to 55 in a national sample of US adults, overall and by sex. Data were obtained from 11,147 individuals in the longitudinal Monitoring the Future study. Participants were in 12th grade (modal age 18) in 1976–1982 and (for the data reported in this study) were surveyed again at modal ages 35 (in 1993–1999), 40, 45, 50, and 55 (in 2013–2019). Weighted time-varying effect modeling was used to examine age-related change in associations among depressive symptoms, any and heavy use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana. Across midlife, greater depressive symptoms were associated with decreased odds of any alcohol use during the 40 s and 50 s, but with increased odds of binge drinking from ages 35–40, and—at most ages—any and pack + cigarette use and any and frequent marijuana use. The association between depressive symptoms and substance use was generally similar for men and women. Results highlight the increased risk for binge drinking, smoking, and marijuana with higher levels of depressive symptoms and underscore the importance of screening and interventions for depressive symptoms and substance use in midlife.
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Footnotes
1
A modest incentive is provided with the invitation for each survey; see Patrick et al. (2022a).
 
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Metadata
Title
Age- and Sex-Varying Associations Between Depressive Symptoms and Substance Use from Modal Ages 35 to 55 in a National Sample of U.S. Adults
Authors
Megan E. Patrick
Yvonne M. Terry-McElrath
Sarah J. Peterson
Kira S. Birditt
Publication date
21-01-2023
Publisher
Springer US
Published in
Prevention Science / Issue 5/2023
Print ISSN: 1389-4986
Electronic ISSN: 1573-6695
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-023-01491-8

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