Is Alcohol Use Related to Depression in Young Adult Males?




Wier, Amy
Courvoisier, Madeleine
Hagen, Michelle
Lorenz, Grace
Hartos, Jessica


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Introduction: Depression and alcohol use have been linked in previous research, but these studies did not focus on a specific population or gender. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between depression and alcohol use in young adult males. Methods: This cross-sectional analysis used 2014 BRFSS data for young adult males ages 18-44 from Oregon, Maine, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. Multiple logistic regression analysis assessed the relationship between depression and alcohol use while controlling for age, marital status, employment status, income level, weight status, sleep, and tobacco use. Results: Few young adult male participants reported ever being diagnosed with depression (15-19%) and the majority reported alcohol use in the last 30 days (52-69%). After controlling for social behaviors and demographic factors, depression was not significantly related to alcohol use in any of the four states. However, depression was inversely related to employment status (moderate effect sizes) and income level (large effect sizes) in two out of four and three out of four states, respectively. Conclusions: Overall, alcohol use was not related to depression in general population samples of young adult males. Income level was significantly related to depression in three states and employment status in two states. However, this study was cross-sectional, therefore, provided no history about the participants’ previous use of alcohol or experience with depression over time. Although an association was not determined between depression and alcohol use, it is recommended that primary care practitioners assess for alcohol use in young adult males due to the high prevalence in this population and assess for depression only if there are associated symptoms.