Though it sounds romantic, finding a soulmate while you are quite young and committing to them fully puts you at a greater risk of becoming an alcoholic, a study suggested.
The researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University studied the drinking habits of 937 people. Those who were married early were more likely to develop alcohol problems, the study titled "Using a Developmental Perspective to Examine the Moderating Effects of Marriage on Heavy Episodic Drinking in a Young Adult Sample Enriched for Risk" confirmed.
The study author Rebecca Smith wrote:
"In a sample of young adults, we found that marriage was not uniformly protective against alcohol misuse. In fact, we found that early marriage (i.e., by age 21) seemed to exacerbate risk for alcohol use among individuals with a higher genetic predisposition."
Smith, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences, continued:
"Thus, early marriage does not have the same protective benefit in terms of attenuating genetic predispositions that has been observed for marriage later in adulthood."
The research showed how life circumstances play into behavior and habits depending on a person's age. Smith explained that "these findings are important because they demonstrate how risk and protective factors may intersect in different ways at different points across the lifespan."
Smith also broke the illusion that marriage is "considered to be protective." She added that "early marriage may increase the risk of heavy episodic drinking among people who have high genetic predispositions for alcohol use. It contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the role of marriage."
Previous research proved that marriage does not support alcohol dependency. However, this was the case with couples who married later in life.
Six other universities supported the study led by Virginia Commonwealth University, and as Smith added: "Individuals who marry young may not be the best influences on one another."
This is because the marriage could "create an environment in which other risk factors that contribute to alcohol use, such as genetic predispositions, are exacerbated."
This should not come as a surprise since the human brain develops until 25 and even 28, as some studies suggested.