Development and Psychopathology

Regular Articles

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

Anne Buua1 c1, Wei Wanga1, Jing Wanga1, Leon I. Puttlera1, Hiram E. Fitzgeralda2 and Robert A. Zuckera1

a1 University of Michigan

a2 Michigan State University


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.

(Online publication January 24 2011)


c1 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:


This work was supported by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Grants K01 AA016591 (to A.B.) and R37 AA07065 (to R.A.Z.). The first author and the senior author (R.A.Z.) contributed equally to the development of this paper. The authors thank Susan Refior, Brenton Nier, and Shauncie Skidmore for their help with the manuscript.