Journal Article

Romantic Partner Influences on Prenatal and Postnatal Substance Use in Young Couples

Journal Article


Alcohol, tobacco and other drug use (ATOD) among adolescent and young adult couples during prenatal and postnatal periods is a significant public health problem, and couples may mutually influence each others’ ATOD behaviors.

The current study investigated romantic partner influences on ATOD among adolescent and young adult couples during pregnancy and postnatal periods.

Participants were 296 young couples in the second or third trimester of pregnancy recruited from OBGYN clinics between July 2007 and February 2011. Participants completed questionnaires at prenatal, 6 months postnatal, and 12 months postnatal periods. Dyadic data analysis was conducted to assess the stability and interdependence of male and female ATOD over time.

Male partner cigarette and marijuana use in the prenatal period significantly predicted female cigarette and marijuana use at 6 months postnatal (b = 0.14, P < 0.01; b = 0.11, P < 0.05, respectively). Male partner marijuana use at 6 months postnatal also significantly predicted female marijuana use at 12 months postnatal (b = 0.11, P < 0.05). Additionally, significant positive correlations were found for partner alcohol and marijuana at pre-pregnancy and 6 months postnatal, and partner cigarette use at pre-pregnancy, 6 months and 12 months postnatal. Conclusions
Partner ATOD among young fathers, particularly during the prenatal period, may play an important role in subsequent ATOD among young mothers during postnatal periods.

J Public Health (Oxf)<. 2016 Jun. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdv039.