Substance Abuse in Special Populations: Alcohol Usage and the Senior Citizen

Victor A. Christopherson, University of Arizona
ABSTRACT - Interviews were conducted with 444 individuals aged 65 years and older throughout the state of Arizona in order to determine the patterns and amounts of alcohol usage in this group. Respondents were grouped into categories on the basis of the quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption - abstainers, light drinkers, moderate drinkers, and heavy drinkers. Light, moderate, and heavy drinkers were differentiated according to reasons for drinking, as were the various age groupings. Findings indicated that the rural elderly's alcohol use is generally at an acceptable level and style. that alcohol use diminishes with age, and that drinking patterns and reasons generally remain consistent into old age. The fact that life styles prior to age 65 were more instrumental in determining drinking patterns in the later years than any other single factor, gave strong support to the continuity theory of senescence.
[ to cite ]:
Victor A. Christopherson (1986) ,"Substance Abuse in Special Populations: Alcohol Usage and the Senior Citizen", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 13, eds. Richard J. Lutz, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 663.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 13, 1986      Page 663

SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN SPECIAL POPULATIONS: ALCOHOL USAGE AND THE SENIOR CITIZEN

Victor A. Christopherson, University of Arizona

ABSTRACT -

Interviews were conducted with 444 individuals aged 65 years and older throughout the state of Arizona in order to determine the patterns and amounts of alcohol usage in this group. Respondents were grouped into categories on the basis of the quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption - abstainers, light drinkers, moderate drinkers, and heavy drinkers. Light, moderate, and heavy drinkers were differentiated according to reasons for drinking, as were the various age groupings. Findings indicated that the rural elderly's alcohol use is generally at an acceptable level and style. that alcohol use diminishes with age, and that drinking patterns and reasons generally remain consistent into old age. The fact that life styles prior to age 65 were more instrumental in determining drinking patterns in the later years than any other single factor, gave strong support to the continuity theory of senescence.

For further information, write to:

Victor A. Christopherson / 210 Family and Consumer Resources Building / University of Arizona / Tucson, Arizona 85721

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