STUDY: GETTING MARRIED BEFORE AGE 21 INCREASES RISK OF DEVELOPING A DRINKING PROBLEM
Getting married young might come with a risk you hadn’t thought of. Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University found that people who got married by age 21 who had a higher genetic predisposition to developing alcoholism had an increased risk of becoming alcoholics compared to people with the same genetics that got married later in life.
Researchers think this could be because younger people are more likely to engage in binge drinking, and “individuals who marry young may not be the best influences on one another.” This comes after previous research has found marriage to be protective against alcohol misuse.
Researcher Rebecca Smith adds, “Traditional life events, such as marriage and parenthood, tend to occur during certain periods in life. So when those types of events occur either earlier or later in life than is typical (in American culture), they may not be as protective as we would expect.”