Ways of coping in male partners of female problem drinkers
The current study aimed to look at the reported coping behaviours of a sample of male partners of female problem drinkers, to examine some of the factors that have been associated with coping (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984), and to compare the coping behaviours of the male partners with a sample of female partners from another study (Hurcom et al., 1999; Orford et al., 1998). The study recruited 28 male partners and coping behaviours were measured using the Coping Questionnaire (Orford, 1996). The study found that the male partners reported using a range of coping behaviours, and in particular significantly less withdrawal coping behaviours than the comparison female partner sample. The study also found that there was a significant positive correlation between how much of a problem the male partner saw his female partner's drinking and his use of tolerant coping behaviours. A significant positive correlation was also found between the duration of the female's drinking problem and the male partner's use of both engaged and tolerant coping behaviours. The results suggested that male partners were affected by their female partners problem drinking and that services should be more active in engaging male partners. This is seen as important in terms of providing support for the female problem drinker's treatment and helping to lessen the male's experience of stress. The study found differnces in the ways that male and female partners cope, but questions were raised about whether age and relationship stability may be more significant factors than differnces in gender.