This revised application seeks to prospectively study alcohol and depression among middle- aged and older adults. Secondary data analyses of extant three-wave, 10-year prospective data (baseline and two successive five-year follow-up points) from the Lives across Time (LAT) Study are proposed using the parent data from the LAT. A total of 1,532 parents participated at least once across the three-waves, with 80% participating at 2-3 waves. Among these parents are 400 marital couples. The focus of the application is threefold. First, the stability and change of alcohol and depression will be studied across time via different statistical models (e.g., latent growth models) to evaluate how both may change and if change in one (e.g., alcohol use) is significantly related to change in the other (e.g., depression). Second, several important factors will be investigated with regard to their prediction of initial levels and changes in alcohol and depression across time. These will include general coping styles (problem-focused coping;emotion-focused coping), coping drinking motives, and family history of alcoholism and depression. Third, interpersonal factors (support and conflict) and conflict resolution styles (positive problem solving, conflict engagement) will be investigated in relation to alcohol use and depressive symptom trajectories and alcohol and major depressive disorders. Couples analyses will be conducted to address similar issues for the martial dyads, as well as to evaluate how alcohol and depression among marital partners may influence changes in marital satisfaction. A range of longitudinal models (e.g., dual latent growth models, dual latent class group trajectory models) will be used to analyze the data and evaluate sex differences in trajectories, antecedents, and outcomes.

Public Health Relevance

Demographic trends in the U.S. indicate that the proportion of middle-aged and older adults is increasing, with the population aged >65 years projected to increase from 12.4% in 2000 to 19.6% in 2030. Associated with the expansion of this segment of the population are increased demands on the medical and public health sectors to address health conditions, including alcohol use and depression. This application proposes to use three-wave, 10-year prospective data of 1,532 adults, including 400 marital couples, to evaluate potentially important modifiable characteristics (e.g., coping styles, conflict resolution skills) that prospectively predict alcohol, depression, and their co-occurrence.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
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Ruffin, Beverly
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Emory University
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Windle, Michael; Windle, Rebecca C (2014) A prospective study of alcohol use among middle-aged adults and marital partner influences on drinking. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 75:546-56
Windle, Michael; Windle, Rebecca C (2013) Recurrent depression, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes among middle-aged and older adult women. J Affect Disord 150:895-902