Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 908–916 | Cite as

Partner’s Influences and Other Correlates of Prenatal Alcohol Use

  • Nickie Y. van der Wulp
  • Ciska Hoving
  • Hein de Vries


To investigate the influence of partners on alcohol consumption in pregnant women within the context of other factors. A Dutch nationwide online cross-sectional study among 158 pregnant women and their partners was conducted. To identify correlates of prenatal alcohol use, including perceived and reported partner norm (i.e. partner’s belief regarding acceptability of prenatal alcohol use), partner modeling (i.e. partner’s alcohol use during the woman’s pregnancy) and partner support (i.e. partner’s help in abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy), independent sample T-tests and Chi square tests were conducted. Correlation analyses tested the relationship between perceived and reported partner influence. Multivariate logistic hierarchical regression analyses tested the independent impact of partner’s perceived and reported influence next to other correlates from the I-Change Model. Pregnant women who consumed alcohol perceived a weaker partner norm (p < 0.001) and less partner modeling (p < 0.05), with the partner reporting a weaker norm (p < 0.001), more drinking days per week (p < 0.05) and weaker support (p < 0.05). Perceived and reported partner norm, modeling and support were positively related (respectively p < 0.01, p < 0.01 and p < 0.05). The multivariate analyses demonstrated that pregnant women with a higher education who perceived lower severity of harm due to prenatal alcohol use and a weaker partner norm were more likely to use alcohol (R2 = 0.42). This study demonstrated that perceived partner norm was the most critical of the constructs of perceived and reported partner influences in explaining prenatal alcohol use.


Pregnancy Alcohol Partner Correlates Social norm 


  1. 1.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2002). Alcohol use among women of childbearing age–United States, 1991–1999. JAMA, 287(16), 2069–2071.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Streissguth, A. P., & O’Malley, K. (2000). Neuropsychiatric implications and long-term consequences of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Seminars in Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 5(3), 177–190.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    O’Leary, C. M., Heuzenroeder, L., Elliott, E. J., & Bower, C. (2007). A review of policies on alcohol use during pregnancy in Australia and other English-speaking countries, 2006. Medical Journal of Australia, 186(9), 466–471.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Health Council of the Netherlands. Risks of alcohol consumption related to conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding. The Hague: Health Council of the Netherlands 2005. Report No.: publication no. 2004/22 Contract No.: publication no. 2004/22.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Skagerstrom, J., Chang, G., & Nilsen, P. (2011). Predictors of drinking during pregnancy: A systematic review. Journal of Women’s Health(Larchmt), 20(6), 901–913.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Haynes, G., Dunnagan, T., & Christopher, S. (2003). Determinants of alcohol use in pregnant women at risk for alcohol consumption. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 25(6), 659–666.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Nilsen, P., Holmqvist, M., Hultgren, E., Bendtsen, P., & Cedergren, M. (2008). Alcohol use before and during pregnancy and factors influencing change among Swedish women. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 87(7), 768–774.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Perham-Hester, K. A., & Gessner, B. D. (1997). Correlates of drinking during the third trimester of pregnancy in Alaska. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 1(3), 165–172.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chang, G., McNamara, T. K., Wilkins-Haug, L., & Orav, E. J. (2007). Estimates of prenatal abstinence from alcohol: A matter of perspective. Addictive Behaviors, 32(8), 1593–1601.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Comasco, E., Hallberg, G., Helander, A., Oreland, L., & Sundelin-Wahlsten, V. (2012). Alcohol consumption among pregnant women in a Swedish sample and its effects on the newborn outcomes. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 36, 1779.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Testa, M., & Reifman, A. (1996). Individual differences in perceived riskiness of drinking in pregnancy: Antecedents and consequences. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 57(4), 360–367.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Peadon, E., Payne, J., Henley, N., D’Antoine, H., Bartu, A., O’Leary, C., et al. (2011). Attitudes and behavior predict women’s intention to drink alcohol during pregnancy: The challenge for health professionals. BMC Public Health, 11(1), 584.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ajzen I. From intentions to actions: A theory of planned behavior. In: Kuhl JB, J., editor. Action Control: From cognition to behavior. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, Tokyo: Springer-Verlag; 1985. p. 11-39.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    De Vries, H., Backbier, E., Kok, G., & Dijkstra, M. (1995). The impact of social influences in the context of attitude, self-efficacy, intention, and previous behavior as predictors of smoking onset. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 25(3), 237–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    van der Wulp, N. Y., Hoving, C., & de Vries, H. (2013). A qualitative investigation of alcohol use advice during pregnancy: Experiences of Dutch midwives, pregnant women and their partners. Midwifery, 29, e89–e98.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Chang, G., Orav, E. J., Jones, J. A., Buynitsky, T., Gonzalez, S., & Wilkins-Haug, L. (2011). Self-reported alcohol and drug use in pregnant young women: A pilot study of associated factors and identification. Family Planning Perspectives, 5(3), 221–226.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bakhireva, L. N., Wilsnack, S. C., Kristjanson, A., Yevtushok, L., Onishenko, S., Wertelecki, W., et al. (2011). Paternal drinking, intimate relationship quality, and alcohol consumption in pregnant Ukrainian women. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 72(4), 536–544.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Waterson, E. J., Evans, C., & Murray-Lyon, I. M. (1990). Is pregnancy a time of changing drinking and smoking patterns for fathers as well as mothers? An initial investigation. British Journal of Addiction, 85(3), 389–396.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Chang, G., McNamara, T. K., Orav, E. J., Koby, D., Lavigne, A., Ludman, B., et al. (2005). Brief intervention for prenatal alcohol use: A randomized trial. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 105(5 Pt 1), 991–998.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    De Vries, H., Mudde, A., Leijs, I., Charlton, A., Vartiainen, E., Buijs, G., et al. (2003). The European smoking prevention framework approach (EFSA): An example of integral prevention. Health Education Research, 18(5), 611–626.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    De Vries, H., Backbier, E., Dijkstra, M., Van Breukelen, G., Parcel, G., & Kok, G. (1994). A Dutch social influence smoking prevention approach for vocational school students. Health Education Research, 9(3), 365–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bandura, A., Cioffi, D., Taylor, C. B., & Brouillard, M. E. (1988). Perceived self-efficacy in coping with cognitive stressors and opioid activation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55(3), 479–488.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    De Vries, H., Dijkstra, M., & Kuhlman, P. (1988). Self-efficacy: The third factor besides attitude and subjective norm as a predictor of behavioral intentions. Health Education Research, 3(3), 273–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wiegers, T. A., Van der Velden, L. F. J., & Hingstman, L. (2005). Need estimate of midwives. Utrecht: Nivel.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Dijkstra, A., de Vries, H., & Bakker, M. (1996). Pros and cons of quitting, self-efficacy, and the stages of change in smoking cessation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64(4), 758–763.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Hoving, C., Mudde, A. N., & de Vries, H. (2007). Effect of recruitment method and setting on the composition of samples consisting of adult smokers. Patient Education and Counseling, 65(1), 79–86.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Dijkstra, A., De Vries, H., & Roijackers, J. (1998). Long-term effectiveness of computer-generated tailored feedback in smoking cessation. Health Education Research, 13(2), 207–214.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    De Vries, H., Bakker, M., Mullen, P. D., & van Breukelen, G. (2006). The effects of smoking cessation counseling by midwives on Dutch pregnant women and their partners. Patient Education and Counseling, 63(1–2), 177–187.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Hoving, C., Mudde, A. N., Dijk, F., & de Vries, H. (2010). Effectiveness of a smoking cessation intervention in Dutch pharmacies and general practices. Health Education, 110(1), 17–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Nathanson, V., Jayesinghe, N., & Roycroft, G. (2007). Is it all right for women to drink small amounts of alcohol in pregnancy? BMJ, 335(7625), 856–857.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Field, A. (2005). Discovering statistics using SPSS. London: Sage Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    McNamara, T. K., Orav, E. J., Wilkins-Haug, L., & Chang, G. (2006). Social support and prenatal alcohol use. Journal of Women’s Health (Larchmt), 15(1), 70–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Alvik, A., Heyerdahl, S., Haldorsen, T., & Lindemann, R. (2006). Alcohol use before and during pregnancy: A population-based study. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 85(11), 1292–1298.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lumley, J., Chamberlain, C., Dowswell, T., Oliver, S., & Oakley, L. (2009). Interventions for promoting smoking cessation during pregnancy. Cochrane Database Systematic Review, 3, CD001055.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Torvik, F. A., Røysamb, E., Gustavson, K., Idstad, M., & Tambs, K. (2013). Discordant and concordant alcohol use in spouses as predictors of marital dissolution in the general population: Results from the hunt study. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 37(5), 877–884.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Devries, K. M., Child, J. C., Bacchus, L. J., Mak, J., Falder, G., Graham, K., et al. (2014). Intimate partner violence victimization and alcohol consumption in women: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Addiction, 109(3), 379–391.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nickie Y. van der Wulp
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ciska Hoving
    • 2
  • Hein de Vries
    • 2
  1. 1.Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAPUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Health Promotion, CAPHRIMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations