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Men’s and Women’s Patterns of Substance Use Around Pregnancy

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Background: Little is known about men’s patterns of substance use around their partner’s pregnancy, despite evidence from studies of pregnant women that men’s substance use may reduce women’s ability to desist from substance use during pregnancy, increase the probability that women will return to use postpartum, and increase the risk of adverse child outcomes. The purpose of this study was to describe the association between pregnancy or partner’s pregnancy and month-by-month patterns of binge drinking, daily smoking, and marijuana use among young men and women. Methods: Data were drawn from the Seattle Social Development Project, which included 412 men and 396 women (age 24 yr) from a community sample of individuals who attended elementary school in the northwestern United States. Event history calendars were used to measure month-by-month patterns of binge drinking, daily smoking, marijuana use, and childbirth over a 3-year period from 1996 to 1999. Results: Births during the calendar period were reported by 131 women and 77 men. Hierarchical generalized linear modeling analyses showed that men’s rates of binge drinking and marijuana use were unaffected by their partner’s pregnancy. Pregnancy decreased the probability of substance use among women, but use returned to prepregnancy levels within 2 years postpartum. Conclusions: Men’s substance use was not affected by their partner’s pregnancy. Pregnancy decreased the probability of substance use among women, but substantial proportions of women users of cigarettes and marijuana used these substances during pregnancy. Many of the women who desisted from substance use while pregnant returned to use after their child was born. (BIRTH 35:1 March 2008)
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Keywords: fathers; mothers; pregnancy; substance use

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Karl G. Hill is a Research Associate Professor 2: J. David Hawkins is an Endowed Professor of Prevention 3: Richard F. Catalano is a Professor in the Social Development Research Group, School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle 4: Robert D. Abbott is a Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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