The abstract does not provide a brief description of the problem under study but rather gives the objective of the study which is to summarize longitudinal research regarding physical health and health behaviors on women’s subsequent alcohol use. The research does not conduct experiments with participants but rather uses databases from Medline/PsycINFO to yield its results. The database yielded 29 relevant articles that were used in this study. In the abstract, the researcher should have included more details about the methods that were used to select the 29 out of over 5000 articles that were reviewed.
The findings of the study are well articulated and report that prior consumption was reported to influence the relationship between other health/health behaviors variables and consumption.The study promotes the use of mechanisms that will reduce alcohol access among young women. The study also advocated for routine alcohol screening that may help identify women at risk of developing harmful alcohol use.
The article states that this is an important area of research due to the gender differences in outcomes related to alcohol consumption. Medical conditions such as miscarriage and breast cancers are unique to women who are affected by heavy alcohol consumption. The literature review is relevant to the study and contains articles that are specific to the problem. The literature review does not clearly show a logical sequence from what we know to what we don’t know. The purpose of the article is made clear and the researchers hope that the study will provide additional tools for public health targeting and intervention and identify effective intervention points.
The researcher has not clearly stated the hypothesis or research question to be addressed by this study. The articles implies that it aims at identifying health behaviors that lead, directly or indirectly, to levels of consumption associated with adverse medical outcomes. In the review, the researchers have presented alternative viewpoints and have provided justifications for the methods that they have chosen. For example, the use of longitudinal studies was appropriate because it disentangles temporal associations between characteristics and subsequent problematic alcohol use. The researchers’ state that the review was limited to studies using population-based sampling in order to accurately reflect the burden of any associations in the general population of a country or region.
This article did not have participants rather its selection methods involved searching the Medline and PsychINFO journal databases using key terms such as alcohol (wildcard) or drinking; longitudinal cohort, panel, follow up, prospective or trajectory; and gender, female, women or woman and a total of 5,012 articles were gathered. The longitudinal study involved articles published from January 1, 1980 through December 31, 2005. The researchers then read the abstracts to determine if the manuscripts met the selection criteria. This resulted in 62 articles that were eligible for inclusion in the review. 5 additional articles that were not retrieved during the initial journal database were included. Further assessment resulted to only 29 articles whose results focused on health and health behaviors were used in this study.
The method of data collection is appropriate and detailed enough to enable another researcher to duplicate the review. The researchers’ employed the methods correctly in order to gather the relevant information. In this particular section, no discussion of the statistical techniques was given.
The researchers have attached tables that give a summary of the reviewed 29 articles:
-Table 1: provides a brief summary of the methodological details of the 29 articles that met the review inclusion criteria.
-Table 2: presents information regarding the collection of alcohol consumption variables that were used in the studies.
The tables contain sufficient information in the title and footnotes in that a reader can understand what is being presented without having to go back to the text.
The 29 articles had varying alcohol measures which may have had an effect on this articles results and conclusion. The participants of the approved 29 articles were also of varied ages. The articles had experiments that had varying time ranges but in general the articles were published from January 1, 1980 through December 31, 2005.
In physical health, there are noticeable racial differences between European American women and African American women. The African American women did not appear to change consumption due to chronic disease status that had reached borderline level. Infertility was associated with average daily consumption among chronic consumers.
Some three studies found no relationship between measures of physical health and alcohol use. Hospitalization did predict reduced consumption when used as an interaction term with baseline alcohol consumption.
In the analysis of health behavior using previous alcohol consumption or problematic alcohol use, the analysis of a Finnish cohort indicated that drinking to relieve tension in adolescents was associated with higher consumption in young adulthood. A study of violent assault reported that alcohol abuse at baseline predicted alcohol abuse 2 years later.
With regards to age of alcohol consumption onset, women who initiated alcohol use at age 14 or 15 were more likely to binge drink or to be problem drinkers that were women with a later onset. The studies also reported that ease of alcohol access among women at age 15 increased the odds of being in a trajectory group associated with higher quantity consumption.
In investigating the drinking context and networks, no significant increased odds were found for consuming beers, spirits, or a variety of beverage types when compared to women who drank wine for subsequent heavy or excessive drinking. However, women who consumed beer at the initial data collection period were more likely to progress to heavy or excessive drinking. The most significant group level variable in predicting women’s follow up consumption was the overall mean difference variable for the cohort. Having a partner who frequently drank predicted chronic consumption but not onset of dependence symptoms or chronic problematic consequences.
Studies that examined substance use and alcohol use among women found that lifetime use of other drugs was predictive of the onset of problematic alcohol use in terms of frequency of intoxication. With regards to tobacco use, smoking tobacco at age 23 increased the odds of harmful and binge drinking at age 30. Delinquent activity was predictive of time limited drinking, moderate stable heavy drinking and high heavy drinking using infrequent stable heavy drinking as the reference category. Alcohol dependent women were more likely than problematic users to use alcohol to cope; and at age 25, these women used alcohol to cope more often than did problematic users or abusers of alcohol (Clemens et. al, 2009)
The subject matter is quite broad and the researchers are struggling to categorize all the information gathered.
The researchers Clemens, Grant and Mathews (2009) point out that the review was not designed to be a comparison between genders so many of the findings may equally apply to men.
In the discussion, the review has been well summarized. The researchers have noted the limitations of the review such as:
- Methodological factors of the longitudinal studies affected the consistency of results.
-Inability to draw definitive conclusions regarding the nature of the relationship between health and health behaviors and subsequent alcohol consumption among women.
-The ability to generalize the findings may be compromised due to the use of non-population based sampling methods used by some articles.
The review concludes by noting that:
- incorporating a brief alcohol assessment into routine medical visits may provide a historical patient record able to identify vulnerable individuals.
-Efforts to limit access to alcohol among adolescents, either physically or through increased taxation, should continue to be supported (Clemens et.al, 2009)
For future research, the researchers recommend designing a longitudinal study that can adequately capture the development of healthy lifestyle choices and the need to initiate studies before these behavior patterns are established through earlier data collection.
LIST OF REFERENCES
The format used in listing references was consistent and all references were journal articles as cited in the article.
In my opinion, the researchers should have narrowed down the topic. Overall, the study was worthwhile because it summarizes the findings of longitudinal studies that focused on the subject matter. A person who may not have as much background information in the area would be able to understand the findings of this article. The article provides a detailed summary of the field and would make a significant contribution to the field of research.