Author(s): Holdcraft LC, Iacono WG
AIMS: The present study investigated the presence of cohort effects on gender differences in the course, severity and symptomatology of DSM-III-R alcohol dependence in a community-based sample.
DESIGN: A comparison of substance-related variables among men and women divided into two groups based on the median birth year of the sample was conducted.
PARTICIPANTS: Participants were 468 men and 132 women with life-time alcohol dependence, the vast majority of whom were born between 1941 and 1960.
MEASUREMENTS: Substance use and DSM-III-R substance use disorders were assessed by a structured interview administered in person.
FINDINGS: Individuals born after 1951 had higher rates of alcohol dependence. Among individuals with alcohol dependence, those born after 1951 had an earlier onset and longer duration of alcohol-related problems. Significant interactions indicated that these effects were stronger for women than men.
CONCLUSIONS: Risk for alcohol dependence appears to be rising in younger generations, and particularly for younger women, making them an important target group for prevention and treatment programs.