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Changes in women's alcoholic, antisocial, and depressive symptomatology over 12 years: A multilevel network of individual, familial, and neighborhood influences

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 January 2011

Anne Buu*
University of Michigan
Wei Wang
University of Michigan
Jing Wang
University of Michigan
Leon I. Puttler
University of Michigan
Hiram E. Fitzgerald
Michigan State University
Robert A. Zucker
University of Michigan
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Anne Buu, Addiction Research Center and Substance Abuse Section, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, 4250 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; E-mail:


In a sample of 273 adult women and their families, we examined the effects of women's psychopathology history, their social support, their husbands' and children's symptomatology, family stress, and neighborhood environment on their alcohol problems, antisocial behavior, and depression over a 12-year period during their 30s and early 40s. Women's alcohol problems and antisocial behavior decreased but their depression symptoms increased over time. Women's disorder history and their partners' parallel symptomatology were associated with their symptoms. For women's antisocial behavior, their own history of alcoholism and their partners' alcohol problems were also significant risk factors. Higher levels of social support were associated with lower levels of depression in women. Children's externalizing behavior was positively correlated with their mothers' alcohol problems and antisocial behavior, whereas children's internalizing behavior was positively correlated with their mothers' depression. Neighborhood residential instability was associated with higher levels of alcoholic and depressive symptomatology in women. Intervention efforts might target women with young children by improving social support, educational or professional training opportunity, access to family counseling, and neighborhood environment.

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