Husband and Wife Alcohol Use as Independent or Interactive Predictors of Intimate Partner Violence

Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14203, USA.
Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs (Impact Factor: 2.76). 03/2012; 73(2):268-76. DOI: 10.15288/jsad.2012.73.268
Source: PubMed


Men's heavy drinking has been established as a risk factor for their perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV); however, the role of women's drinking in their perpetration of IPV is less clear. The current study examined the relative strength of husbands' and wives' alcohol use and alcohol dependence symptoms on the occurrence and frequency of husbands' and wives' IPV perpetration.
Married and cohabiting community couples (N = 280) were identified and recruited according to their classification in one of four drinking groups: heavy episodic drinking occurred in both partners (n = 79), the husband only (n = 80), the wife only (n = 41), and neither (n = 80). Husband and wife alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence symptoms, and IPV perpetration were assessed independently for both partners.
Husband and wife consumption and alcohol dependence symptoms contributed to the likelihood and frequency of husband IPV, both independently and interactively. Husband, but not wife, alcohol dependence symptoms contributed to the occurrence of any wife IPV, although both partners' alcohol dependence symptoms predicted the frequency of wife aggression. Couples with discrepant drinking were not more likely to perpetrate IPV.
Findings for husband IPV support previous research identifying alcohol use of both partners as a predictor. However, for wives, alcohol appears to play less of a role in IPV perpetration, perhaps reflecting that women experience less inhibition against physical aggression in their intimate relationships than do men.

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    • "Although heavy drinking was bivariately associated with NPA, the lack of an association between heavy drinking patterns and PA was somewhat unexpected given evidence from several studies with a variety of methodologies (epidemiological, controlled experimental, event-based) and samples (nationally representative samples, SUD samples, etc.) that alcohol use or consequences are associated with general aggression and partner aggression (Chermack & Blow, 2002; Testa et al., 2012). There are several possible reasons for this discrepancy, including that: (1) the present multivariate analyses adjusted for the impact of other potentially important factors (e.g., youth aggression, psychological distress), (2) there may have been a more restricted range of alcohol use patterns in this SUD sample reporting past year violence compared to representative community or national samples making it more difficult to observe a significant relationship, (3) the present study focused on use patterns rather than examining the impact of acute event specific alcohol use [although a prior study with the present sample did not find acute alcohol use related to PA; (Chermack et al., 2010)], and (4) in SUD samples, other factors (e.g., youth aggression, relationship issues) play a more potent role in terms of their association with PA. "
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    ABSTRACT: Studies of violence in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment settings typically focus on partner aggression (PA) although non-partner aggression (NPA) is also a common problem. This study examines potentially distinct paths of distal and proximal risk factors related to aggression towards non-partners (NPA) and partners (PA) among a SUD treatment sample. The sample included 176 adults reporting past-year violence. Bivariate analyses indicated several distal and proximal factors were associated with NPA and PA. According to multivariate, multiple mediation analyses youth aggression history was a factor for both NPA and PA. Alcohol and cocaine use and psychological distress were associated with NPA; marijuana use was associated with PA. There also was evidence of indirect effects of distal factors on NPA and PA. The results suggest that there may be substantially different dynamics associated with NPA and PA, and have implications for developing screening, assessment and treatment protocols targeting violence among individuals in SUD treatment.
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    • "A third potentially important moderator is the partner's marijuana use. The interrelation between couples' substance use and its effect on marital functioning has been given attention in the alcohol field (Homish & Leonard, 2007; Leadley, Clark, & Caetano, 2000; Testa et al., 2012), but has not been extensively studied with regard to marijuana use. The purpose of the current study was to examine whether frequency of marijuana use by both husbands and wives was predictive of IPV perpetration over the transition to marriage and throughout the early years of marriage. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research on the association between marijuana use and intimate partner violence (IPV) has generated inconsistent findings, and has been primarily based on cross-sectional data. We examined whether husbands' and wives' marijuana use predicted both husbands' and wives' IPV perpetration over the first 9 years of marriage (Wave 1, n = 634 couples). We also examined moderation by antisocial behavior, the spouse's marijuana use, and whether IPV was reported during the year before marriage. These predictive associations were calculated using a time-lagged multivariate generalized multilevel model, simultaneously estimating predictors of husband and wife IPV. In fully adjusted models, we found that more frequent marijuana use by husbands and wives predicted less frequent IPV perpetration by husbands. Husbands' marijuana use also predicted less frequent IPV perpetration by wives. Moderation analyses demonstrated that couples in which both spouses used marijuana frequently reported the least frequent IPV perpetration. There was a significant positive association between wives' marijuana use and wives' IPV perpetration, but only among wives who had already reported IPV perpetration during the year before marriage. These findings suggest there may be an overall inverse association between marijuana use and IPV perpetration in newly married couples, although use may be associated with greater risk of perpetration among women with a history of IPV perpetration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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    • "Many previous studies have shown a connection between violent behaviour and the use of alcohol, especially drinking to intoxication. Population studies show a linear relationship between consumption level and risk of involvement in violent incidents (Dawson, 1997; Wells, Graham, & West, 2000), and there is an increased risk of violence among alcohol abusers and heavy drinkers (Testa et al., 2011), including increased risk of IPV (O'Leary, Woodin, & Fritz, 2006). IPV often occurs when couples have been drinking (Thompson & Kingree, 2006), especially the male partner (Graham et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: The study compares young adults’ cultural understandings of intimate partner violence (IPV) and its connections with alcohol use and gender roles. Data and analyses: Comparative focus group interview data were collected in seven countries (Argentina, Finland, Italy, Nigeria, Uganda, Uruguay, Sri Lanka). Similar lists of codes and coding procedures were used in analyzing the data in all countries. Findings: According to the dominant image of IPV, the perpetrator is a man and the victim is a woman. Many discussions dealt with the gender-specific legitimation of IPV, and the groups from different countries expressed somewhat different views on the gender differences, the moral responsibility of both parties and the mitigating factors of violent behaviour in these discussions. Views on alcohol as a contributing factor for IPV were more similar in all cultures. According to most of the groups, intoxication offers a culturally acceptable excuse to escape responsibility, alcohol's pharmacological effects make violent behaviour more likely, heavy drinking can affect the relationship in a negative way, and the victim's drinking increases the risk of violence. Alcohol was said to have a somewhat different role in situational and in continuous IPV. Conclusions: Results give support to reduction of heavy use of alcohol as an available and feasible method of prevention of IPV. However, prevention of IPV requires paying attention to its other reasons as well, especially the structural gender inequality.
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