Open Access Open Badges Research article

A Dutch panel study on the relation between structure of everyday life, daily hassles, and alcohol consumption

Rik Crutzen* and Ronald A Knibbe

Author Affiliations

Department of Health Promotion, Maastricht University/CAPHRI, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD, Maastricht, The Netherlands

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BMC Public Health 2012, 12:1068  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-1068

Published: 11 December 2012



A widely held assumption within the general public is that one way in which people cope with their daily hassles is by drinking alcohol. Although the idea of drinking to compensate for daily hassles is intuit, empirical evidence is actually rather scarce. This study aimed to test whether structure of everyday life results in more daily hassles and has a protective effect regarding alcohol consumption (as predicted by classic role theory) or – in case the relation between daily hassles and alcohol consumption is positive (as predicted by tension reduction theories) – daily hassles would decrease the protective effect of having a more structured everyday life.


A general population panel study (N = 2,440; 47% women; age: M = 52 years, SD = 17), measuring structure of everyday life and daily hassles (T1; 90% response rate) as well as alcohol consumption (T2; 85% response rate).


In line with classic role theory – structure of everyday life was positively associated with daily hassles and had a negative effect on alcohol consumption. Daily hassles was not associated with alcohol consumption.


Daily hassles did not mediate the relationship between structure of everyday life and alcohol consumption.

Structure of everyday life; Daily hassles; Alcohol consumption; Panel study; General population