Mothers’ alcohol use changed during the COVID-19 pandemic: Ohio study: Less frequent drinking, but more drinks per day

Mothers drank alcohol less frequently as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed, according to a small study of Ohio women, but another result was more concerning to researchers.

Findings showed that the number of drinks per day increased for moms later in the pandemic, raising concerns that mothers may have been more likely to binge when they did drink.

“The COVID-19 pandemic was especially stressful for parents, as they juggled working from home and taking care of their children,” said Bridget Freisthler, co-author of the study and professor of social work at The Ohio State University.

“Our study gives a glimpse on how some mothers used alcohol to cope as the pandemic went on.”

Freisthler conducted the study with Jennifer Price Wolf, associate professor of social work at San Jose State University. Their study was published recently in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.

The researchers recruited 266 mothers in central Ohio for a study on parenting during April-May 2020 when Ohio was under stay-at-home orders for the pandemic. Participants, who all had children between 2 and 12 years of age, were recruited via social media and word-of-mouth, so it was not a random sample.

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