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COVID-19 and Alcohol Use


On The Rocks

2022 STEWART, S. D. On the Rocks: Straight Talk About Women and Drinking. Rowman & Littlefield.

Existing portrayals of women who drink typically fall into two categories: disturbing stories of women hitting “rock bottom,” resulting in ruined careers, families, and futures, or amusing stories of fun and harmless “girls’ nights out,” with women drinking and overindulging as a temporary escape from a never-ending list of work and family demands. Drawing on original research and extensive interviews with a diverse group of women, author Susan Stewart challenges these stereotypes, revealing women’s complex relationships with alcohol and factors associated with its use.


This study, based on an anonymous on-line survey of 546 women fielded between June 3 and June 30, 2020, examines changes in women’s alcohol use since the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Nearly two-thirds of women reported drinking more since the beginning of the pandemic, including increases in daily drinking, drinking earlier in the day, and binge drinking. Higher scores on coronavirus-related anxiety were associated with significantly greater odds of drinking more. Changes in alcohol consumption varied for different demographics of women. These findings can be considered a first step toward understanding how COVID-19 may be affecting women’s alcohol use.

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