A new study about the impact of alcohol use disorders on career trajectory holds troubling news for women.
Psychcentral.com reports that investigators at Icahn-Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York have published a study about the impact of alcohol use disorders (AUDS) on how individuals progress in their careers. The new research focused on the “substantive complexity” of tasks workers were charged with, including their latitude to make decisions and the expansion of their responsibilities. The investigators diagnosed AUDS by looking at whether subjects drank more than they intended or attempted to cut down on their drinking.
The presence of AUDS was associated with lower work trajectory both initially and during follow-up and both both men and women with lower AUD rates showed greater career advancement. But while men had higher rates of AUDS, “the association between AUD and flat or downward occupational trajectory appeared stronger in women” according to the Psychcentral summary.
The investigators concluded that, “declining occupational trajectory is a consequence of AUD development,” rather than a predictor , but said the association between AUDs and occupation appears to be “complex and reinforcing,” Psychcentral reports that, the researchers “believe that women’s career paths may be more readily disrupted’ by AUDs, compared to men’s.”
It occurs to me that heightened vulnerability to career setbacks for women with AUDS may be due to social attitudes that attach more stigma to women’s drinking problems and/or to the fact that women experience cognitive impairment more quickly and at lower levels of alcohol consumption than men.
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Read more about addiction and the family in Dr. Wood’s books: Children of Alcoholism: The Struggle for Self and Intimacy in Adult Life and Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home