Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence

Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence
Open Access

ISSN: 2329-6488

+44 1223 790975


Gender Differences and Association between Psychological Stress and Alcohol Consumption: A Systematic Review

Larissa Horta Esper and Erikson Felipe Furtado

This study aimed to develop a systematic review of literature about psychological stress, alcohol consumption and gender. Search strategies were used in the following databases: Medline and Pubmed. We found 20 studies, most of them published in the last decade, from the United States of America (USA) and with a cross-sectional design. Twelve studies have found associations, either positive as negative, between stressful events and alcohol consumption for both, men and women. Associations were identified exclusively for men in other seven studies. Some studies have also identified that the association between stress and alcohol consumption appears to be moderated by intervening factors such as coping strategies, age, type and number of experienced stressful events, vulnerability and expectations of tension reduction related to alcohol consumption. We conclude that the evidence seems to be stronger for the relationship between stress and alcohol consumption especially among men. Considering the high diversity of methods and sampling approaches it is recommendable that future studies should include the analysis of specific measures of alcohol consumption in order to provide a better estimate of the negative effects of stress and assess the efficacy of preventive interventions for alcohol consumption related to stressful experiences.