Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Female drunk-drivers tend to be older, better-educated, and no longer married

Date:
May 25, 2011
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
Female drunk-drivers are more likely to be older, better-educated and divorced, widowed or separated, new research has shown.

Female drunk-drivers are more likely to be older, better-educated and divorced, widowed or separated, research has shown.

Related Articles


The study by academics at The University of Nottingham found that emotional factors and mental health problems were common triggers in alcohol-related offences committed by women.

And they also discovered that rehabilitation programmes that force women to face the consequences of their crime can intensify their feelings of guilt and shame, leading them to turn to alcohol and increasing the risk that they will re-offend.

In a paper to be published in Clinical Psychology Review the researchers, led by Professor Mary McMurran of the Institute of Mental Health, have called for more effective treatment programmes to be designed that are specifically tailored for women.

Professor McMurran said: "The profile of women drink-driving offenders is of being divorced, widowed or separated and having fewer previous convictions than their male counterparts. Thus, it may be that these women are distressed by their situation and are turning to drink for solace.

"Treatment programmes that induce negative emotions may actually increase emotional distress, which may increase drinking and, in turn, increase the likelihood of alcohol-related offending."

The Nottingham researchers carried out a systematic review of 26 previous studies from around the world to gather evidence that could inform the future development of interventions for alcohol-related offending by women and centred on whether there are differences between men and women who break the law after drinking.

They found:

  • Overall women were less likely to drink and drive than men and less likely to be repeat offenders
  • Fewer women drunk-drivers had previously been arrested for public drunkenness and other alcohol-related offences
  • Women drunk-drivers were older than men, better educated but had a lower income
  • Female drunk-driving offenders were more likely than men to be separated, divorced or widowed, whereas men were more likely to be married or single
  • Women who got behind the wheel drunk were more likely to have parents and partners who abused alcohol and themselves had a greater history of mental health problems.

Only six studies investigated gender differences in other types of offences, demonstrating that while women are overall less likely to offend than men, drinking tends to increase the likelihood of offending in both sexes. Drinking also increases the likelihood of violent offending more than other types of offences and the risk of violence after drinking is higher in both men and women. Again, there is evidence that women offenders with alcohol problems have more psychological problems than men. Using drugs in combination with alcohol may also be an issue for women alcohol abusing offenders.

The researchers found only four studies that evaluated treatments specifically designed for women whose offending was linked to alcohol, meaning there was not enough evidence to answer the question of what treatment works most effectively.

However, there was strong evidence to show which approach did not work. A study in New Mexico showed that putting female drunk-driving offenders before a panel of people made up of those who have been seriously injured or whose loved ones have been killed in a crash in a collision with a drunk-driver to hear about how it has impacted on their lives actually increased the risk of reoffending.

Another American study documented high-risk female offenders who were given a 'life activities' interview as part of their treatment focusing on life adjustment, occupational and financial status. Again, this resulted in a greater rate of offending than those who did not -- 44 per cent as opposed to 24 per cent.

Professor McMurran added: "Programmes designed specifically for women whose offences are alcohol related need to be designed and evaluated. While these may draw on those programmes designed for men, greater attention to broader psychological health issues is needed as these may affect the success of the intervention.

"The information contained in this review may help inform the future development and design of treatment programmes for this neglected group of offenders."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nottingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mary McMurran, Rob Riemsma, Nathan Manning, Kate Misso, Jos Kleijnen. Interventions for alcohol-related offending by women: A systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2011.04.005

Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "Female drunk-drivers tend to be older, better-educated, and no longer married." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525105834.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2011, May 25). Female drunk-drivers tend to be older, better-educated, and no longer married. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525105834.htm
University of Nottingham. "Female drunk-drivers tend to be older, better-educated, and no longer married." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525105834.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 9 out of 10 excessive drinkers in the country are not alcohol dependent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins