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Couples' Marijuana Use Is Inversely Related to Their Intimate Partner Violence Over the First 9 Years of Marriage

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Couples' Marijuana Use Is Inversely Related to Their Intimate Partner Violence Over the First 9 Years of Marriage

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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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Psychology of Addictive Behaviors
Couples’ Marijuana Use Is Inversely Related to Their
Intimate Partner Violence Over the First 9 Years of
Marriage
Philip H. Smith, Gregory G. Homish, R. Lorraine Collins, Gary A. Giovino, Helene R. White,
and Kenneth E. Leonard
Online First Publication, August 18, 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0037302
CITATION
Smith, P. H., Homish, G. G., Collins, R. L., Giovino, G. A., White, H. R., & Leonard, K. E. (2014,
August 18). Couples’ Marijuana Use Is Inversely Related to Their Intimate Partner Violence
Over the First 9 Years of Marriage. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. Advance online
publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0037302
Couples’ Marijuana Use Is Inversely Related to Their Intimate Partner
Violence Over the First 9 Years of Marriage
Philip H. Smith
University at Buffalo, SUNY and Yale University Gregory G. Homish, R. Lorraine Collins, and
Gary A. Giovino
University at Buffalo, SUNY
Helene R. White
Rutgers University Kenneth E. Leonard
University at Buffalo, SUNY
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, n634 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.
Keywords: marijuana, intimate partner violence, marriage, substance use, drug use
Substance abuse and intimate partner violence (IPV) both tend
to decline over the transition to marriage (Duncan, Wilkerson, &
England, 2006; O’Leary, et al., 1989; Quigley & Leonard, 1996;
Thompson & Petrovic, 2009). However, both remain substantially
prevalent among married adults (Homish, Leonard, & Cornelius,
2008; Homish, Leonard, & Kearns-Bodkin, 2006; Lawrence &
Bradbury, 2007). Further, substance use and IPV are interrelated,
with previous research having demonstrated that substance use is
both a robust risk factor for, and consequence of, IPV (Chermack
& Giancola, 1997; Coker et al., 2002; El-Bassel, Gilbert, Wu, Go,
& Hill, 2005; Leonard & Senchak, 1996; Moore et al., 2008;
Smith, Homish, Leonard, & Cornelius, 2012; Stuart et al., 2008).
The majority of studies on substance use and IPV over the
transition to marriage have focused on alcohol (Heyman, O’Leary,
& Jouriles, 1995; Leonard & Senchak, 1996; Quigley & Leonard,
1999; Schumacher, Homish, Leonard, Quigley, & Kearns-Bodkin,
2008) and have not included other commonly used substances,
such as marijuana. Research on associations between marijuana
use and IPV among general samples of adults has generally been
supportive of a significant link (Moore et al., 2008; Smith et al.,
2012; Stuart et al., 2008; see Moore et al. (2005) for a review). For
example, Smith et al. (2012) found evidence that for adult women
in a nationally representative sample, a marijuana use disorder
diagnosis was positively associated with IPV perpetration. This
association remained significant after adjusting for antisocial be-
havior and other substance use disorders.
A major limitation of previous research on marijuana use and
IPV is that the majority of studies have been cross-sectional (Smith
et al., 2012; Stuart et al., 2008). When significant associations have
been detected, the primary alternative explanation is that perpetra-
tors of IPV in community samples are frequently also victims of
IPV (Johnson, 2006; Kelly & Johnson, 2008; Smith et al., 2012;
Whitaker, Haileyesus, Swahn, & Saltzman, 2007), and that sub-
stance use, including marijuana use, may be a coping mechanism
for victims of IPV (Coker et al., 2002; El-Bassel et al., 2005).
Philip H. Smith, Department of Community Health and Health Behavior,
University at Buffalo, SUNY and Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale
University; Gregory G. Homish, R. Lorraine Collins, and Gary A. Giovino,
Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, University at
Buffalo, SUNY; Helene R. White, Center of Alcohol Studies, Rutgers
University; Kenneth E. Leonard, Research Institute on Addictions, Uni-
versity at Buffalo, SUNY.
The research for this article was supported the National Institute on Drug
Abuse (R36-DA031996; PI: PHS), and the National Institute on Alcohol
Abuse and Alcoholism (R37-AA09922; PI: KEL).
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Philip H.
Smith, 2 Church St. South, Suite 109, New Haven, CT 06519. E-mail:
philip.h.smith@yale.edu
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Psychology of Addictive Behaviors © 2014 American Psychological Association
2014, Vol. 28, No. 3, 000 0893-164X/14/$12.00 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0037302
1
Thus, it is important to test whether marijuana use is predictive of
subsequent IPV. One previous study used longitudinal data from
the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine
whether marijuana use predicted IPV, and found that consistent
marijuana use during the age period of 15–21 years significantly
predicted IPV perpetration at age 26, regardless of whether the
respondent was also a victim of IPV (Reingle, Staras, Jennings,
Branchini, & Maldonado-Molina, 2012). However, this study did
not include some potentially important confounding covariates,
such as general antisocial behavior.
A second limitation of previous research on marijuana use and IPV
is that few studies have assessed moderator variables. Testing only
main effect associations may mask significant findings for particular
subgroups. One potentially important moderator is antisocial behav-
ior. Smith et al. (2013) found that marijuana withdrawal was only
associated with IPV among those with a history of general (i.e.,
nonpartner) aggression, an important dimension of antisocial behav-
ior. It is important to point out that a large portion of IPV perpetrated
in community samples is likely rooted in factors other than antisocial
behavior, such as conflict, and this may be particularly true for women
(Johnson, 2006; Kelly & Johnson, 2008). Thus, apart from general
antisocial behavior, marijuana use may be differentially associated
with IPV perpetration in community samples based on whether the
individual has a history of partner aggression, specifically. 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 fre-
quency 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. We analyzed data from a community sample
of newly married couples, simultaneously assessing both husband and
wife marijuana use as predictors of both husband and wife IPV.
Further, we examined interactions with antisocial behavior, partner
marijuana use, and IPV perpetration during the year before marriage.
Based on previous findings on general aggression (Reingle et al.,
2012; Smith et al., 2012; White, Loeber, Stouthamer-Loeber, &
Farrington, 1999), we tested the following three hypotheses: (a) that
more frequent marijuana use will predict more frequent IPV for the
overall sample, before and after adjusting for antisocial behavior and
other important covariates; (b) that couples in which marijuana use is
discordant (i.e., one spouse used marijuana frequently while the other
used infrequently), will be at greater risk for IPV perpetration than
couples in which marijuana use is concordant (i.e., both spouses used
with similar frequency or both did not use); and (c) that marijuana use
will predict IPV among those at greatest risk for IPV; namely, those
who reported IPV at Wave 1, and those with higher scores on
antisocial behavior.
Method
Sampling Procedure
Details of the study’s sampling methodology can be found
elsewhere (Leonard & Mudar, 2003). Briefly, participants were
recruited as they applied for their marriage license in Buffalo, New
York, beginning in 1996 and concluding in 1999. Only those
marrying for the first time were invited to participate. Couples
were first asked to complete a 5–10 min paid ($10) interview,
which assessed sociodemographic characteristics and substance
use. In total, 970 couples completed this initial phase. Of these, 70
(7.2%) refused to participate, and 13 did not get married. The
remaining 887 couples were given consent forms and identical
questionnaires to be completed at home and returned by mail. Each
individual was given $40 for participation. Both spouses of 634
couples (71.4%) completed this in-home questionnaire and pro-
vided informed consent (Wave 1). These couples were also asked
to complete follow-up interviews at their first, second, fourth,
seventh, and ninth wedding anniversaries (Waves 2 through 6),
and were given $40 per person for participation at each wave.
Follow-up surveys were distributed by mail, separately for hus-
bands and wives. When couples failed to complete a wave of data
collection, they were recontacted at subsequent waves to maximize
sample size. All procedures for this study were approved by the
Institutional Review Board of the University at Buffalo, SUNY.
Participants
Demographic information for the sample at Wave 1 (n634)
is displayed in Table 1. We maintained 90%, 86%, 84%, 79%, and
71% of the Wave 1 couples at Waves 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, respectively.
Fifty-six percent of the 634 wives at Wave 1 completed all 6 waves
of data collection, 21% completed 5 waves, 11% completed 4
waves, 8% completed 3 waves, 5% completed 2 waves, and 5%
completed only 1 wave. For husbands, these corresponding figures
were: 41%, 17%, 15%, 12%, 6%, and 9%. Among those with
nonmissing data, the percentages of couples that stayed married at
Waves 2 through 6 were as follows: 95%, 88%, 78%, 70%, and
65%. For the current investigation, participants who reported any
marital status other than married (e.g., divorced, separated) at any
given time point (t), were removed from analyses for all times
t. Thus, at each wave only couples who remained married were
included and findings from this investigation apply only to those
married to their original spouse. Wives who were lost to attrition
were younger and less likely to be European American (p.05).
Husbands lost to attrition were also less likely to be European
American (p.05). Both husbands and wives who were lost to
attrition reported consuming six or more drinks per drinking oc-
casion more frequently during the year before marriage than those
who remained in the study (p.05), although these differences
were small. There were no other significant differences between
those retained and those lost to attrition.
Measures
Intimate partner violence. IPV was measured using the
physical assault and injury subscales of the Conflict Tactics Scale-
Revised (CTS-2) (Straus, Hamby, Boney-McCoy, & Sugarman,
1996). These subscales assess the frequency of specific acts of
physical aggression, as well as whether injury occurred during the
acts. To identify respondents who reported any IPV perpetration
during the year before marriage (Wave 1), we considered an
affirmative response to any of the CTS-2 injury or acts items as
evidence of IPV. This was done to capture as many individuals
who engaged in IPV as possible. For our measure of IPV fre-
quency, we only included the 12 items assessing specific acts of
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2SMITH ET AL.
aggression. These items captured a range of IPV severity; for
example, items assessed slapping, beating up, and choking. Given
that frequency of IPV was the outcome of interest, including the
injury items would have likely resulted in substantial overestima-
tion of IPV frequency.
Participants were first asked how frequently during the past year
they engaged in each of the IPV items toward their spouse. Six
response options ranged from “zero” to “20 or more” times.
Participants were then asked how frequently they were victims of
each of these items. Consistent with previous research (Schum-
acher et al., 2008; Straus, 1979; Testa et al., 2012), responses were
recoded to the mean of the range for each category. For example,
the category “three to five times during the past year” was recoded
to four. The exception was the category “20 or more,” which was
recoded to 25 (to be consistent with Straus, 1979). The values for
the 12 items were then summed. Similar to other research (Schu-
macher et al., 2008), the variables for husband to wife and wife to
husband aggression were calculated from the maximum frequency
reported by either spouse. We reduced the impact of extreme
values by Winsor-transforming the IPV outcome variable. This
procedure iteratively replaces the most extreme value of a variable
with the next most extreme value, up to a proportion of values set
by the user. We conducted this procedure for the most extreme
2.5% of values.
Marijuana use. Frequency of marijuana use was assessed at
all waves with the following question: “In the past year, how often
have you used marijuana or hashish (e.g., pot, weed, reefer, hash,
hash oil, grass)?” This question was included in a section that
asked about the use of drugs “to get high” and included questions
regarding sedatives/tranquilizers, stimulants, hallucinogens, co-
caine, and heroin/methadone. Response options ranged from zero
to six, representing the following categories: “Not at all,” “Once,”
“A few times,” “About once a month,” “2–3 times a month,”
“Once a week,” and “More than once a week.” Similar to our
procedures for the IPV measure, these responses were recoded to
generate a continuous variable in the units of times per month. This
allowed for greater interpretability of modeling estimates for the
variable, as each unit increase represented an equal increase of
frequency of use (i.e., one time per month). Each category was
recoded as follows: “Not at all” 0; “Once [per year]” 1/12
0.08, “A few times [per year]” 3/12 0.25; “About once a
month” 12/12 1; “2–3 times a month” 2.5 1 month
2.5; “Once a week” 1 time per week 4 weeks per month
4; “More than once a week” 3.5 times per week (half-way
between 1 day per week and daily use) 4 weeks per month 14.
Antisocial behavior. Antisocial behavior was conceptualized
as time-invariant, because of stability over time, and was measured
at Wave 1 using 28 items from Zucker and Noll’s (1980) Antiso-
cial Behavior Checklist. This scale measures the frequency of both
childhood and adult antisocial behaviors on a 4-point scale (1
never,4often or more than 10 times). Respondents were
prompted to respond whether they had ever done any of a list of
activities, and asked how often these activities occurred. Examples
of activities included skipping school, taking part in a gang fight,
lying to parents, and taking part in a robbery. These items dem-
onstrated good internal consistency (Cronbach’s ␣⫽.90 for
husbands and 0.86 for wives) in our sample.
Covariates. Our selection of covariates included variables
associated with IPV and marijuana use in previous studies. Given
previous research linking alcohol use to IPV (Leonard & Senchak,
1996), and the common coabuse of alcohol and marijuana (Stin-
son, Ruan, Pickering, & Grant, 2006), we included the Alcohol
Dependence Scale in our analyses (Skinner & Allen, 1982). This is
a 25-item measure that addressed loss of behavioral control,
Table 1
Husbands’ and Wives’ IPV, Marijuana Use, Antisocial Behavior, and Alcohol Dependence at Wave 1 (N 634 Couples)
Wives Husbands
p-value
b
% Mean SD Range % zero % Mean SD Range % zero
Age — 26.8 5.8 17–50 28.7 6.3 18–69 0.001
Race — — 0.617
European American 62.0 59.3
Black 31.2 33.3
Other 6.8 7.4
Education — — 0.05
HS 30.9 36.5
HS 69.1 63.5
Current employment 0.001
Unemployed 24.8 10.6
Employed part or full time 75.2 89.4
Income — 2.8 1.5 1–9 2.2 1.3 1–9 0.001
Frequency of IPV perpetration
(times per year) 4.0 13.7 0–181 62.9 5.14 14.4 0–147.5 52.9 0.001
Frequency of marijuana use
(times per month)
a
0.23 0.81 0–4 77.3 0.41 1.09 0–4 71.6 0.01
AB Checklist Score (lifetime
behaviors) 0.4 0.3 0–2.8
a
0.5 0.4 0–2.6
a
0.001
Alcohol Dependence Scale
score (past year symptoms) 2.5 3.4 0–32 32.2 3.3 4.2 0–36 26.0 0.001
Note. AB antisocial behavior; HS high school; IPV intimate partner violence.
a
Not applicable noncount continuous variable.
b
Significance for difference between husbands and wives calculated using
2
tests for categorical
variables, t-tests for continuous variables, and Wilcoxon rank sum tests for count variables.
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3
MARIJUANA USE AND INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
psycho-perceptual withdrawal symptoms, psychophysical with-
drawal symptoms, and obsessive drinking style—four key dimen-
sions of problematic drinking (␣⫽0.82–0.98 for wives; 0.79
0.99 for husbands). We also included household income, current
employment status, and education in our models because of cor-
relation of both marijuana use and IPV with SES (Cunradi,
Caetano, & Schafer, 2002; Stinson et al., 2006). We coded edu-
cation based on whether (Coded 1) or not (Coded 0) the respondent
had education beyond high school. Household income was broken
down into seven categories, ranging from less than $10,000 per
year to $75,000 or more per year. We entered this ordinal variable
into models as continuous. Employment status was entered into the
models as a binary variable, coded to whether the respondent was
employed at least part time (Coded1) or not (Coded 0). The
correlations among these SES variables were not high enough to
indicate that multicollinearity would be a problem (maximum r
.58). We also included age in models when adjusting for covari-
ates. Alcohol Dependence, household income, and current employ-
ment status were entered into models as time-varying, while edu-
cation and age were entered as time-invariant, based on Wave 1
data.
Overview of Analyses
We conducted all analyses using Stata version 12.1 (StataCorp,
2011). For modeling, we used a generalized multilevel framework
(Hox, 2002; Raudenbush & Bryk, 2002). We selected this ap-
proach to account for nonindependence in the data, which resulted
from correlation within individuals over time as well as within
couples. This approach is also valid for data in which measurement
intervals vary (in this study, from 1 to 3 years; Kwok et al., 2008).
We utilized a two-level multivariate model, as this approach was
most parsimonious (Raudenbush, Brennan, & Barnett, 1995). Im-
portantly, this model allowed us to examine both husband and wife
predictors and outcomes within the same model (Cook & Kenny,
2005). We specified a Poisson family distribution and a log link
function, accounting for the count distribution of the IPV fre-
quency outcome (see Table 1). This decision was based on previ-
ous evidence suggesting that the generalized Poisson model is
well-suited for handling count data with a heavily right-skewed
distribution (Joe & Zhu, 2005). The variable for husbands’ IPV
perpetration at Wave 1, for example, ranged from 0 to 181 times
per year, with a mean of 4.0 and SD of 13.7 (62.9% zeros). We
used full-maximum likelihood estimation, which allows partici-
pants with data from at least one time-point (waves 1 through 6;
n634 couples) to remain in the model.
All time-varying predictor variables were lagged by one time-
point. In other words, models were set up so that marijuana use at
time t
j
was predicting IPV at time t
j1
. The frequency of
marijuana use variables and the antisocial behavior variables were
standardized before analyses. All adjustment variables were mean
centered to improve the interpretability of model intercepts. We
calculated a series of three models. The first model estimated
associations between husband and wife marijuana use and husband
and wife IPV perpetration frequency, adjusted only for time. In the
second model we added all adjustment variables to the model. In
the third model we added the following interaction terms, for the
prediction of husband to wife IPV perpetration: (a) husband mar-
ijuana use X husband antisocial behavior, (b) husband marijuana
use X wife marijuana use, and (c) husband marijuana use X
husband Wave 1 IPV perpetration. We also added the following
interactions for the prediction of wife to husband IPV: (a) wife
marijuana use X wife antisocial behavior, (b) wife marijuana use
X husband marijuana use, and (c) wife marijuana use X wife Wave
1 IPV. We eliminated nonsignificant interaction terms from our
final model, based on a Sidak-corrected pvalue cut-off of 0.017.
We made a final selection of adjustment variables based on a p
value cut-off of 0.05. We probed significant interactions by exam-
ining simple slopes for the variable of interest at low and high
values of the moderator. When examining spousal marijuana use
and antisocial behavior as moderators, because of the skewed
distribution of these variables, we probed significant interactions at
the mean (low frequency of use and low antisocial behavior), and
mean 3or2SD for frequency of use and antisocial behavior,
respectively (based on the extent of skewness for each variable).
Results
At Wave 1, 37.1% of husbands perpetrated IPV, with an average
frequency of 4.0 times per year (SD 13.7) for the overall sample
(see Table 1). Wives were more likely to report any IPV perpe-
tration (43.1%), and reported doing so significantly more fre-
quently than husbands (M5.1 times per year; SD 14.4; p
.001). Twenty-eight percent of husbands reported any marijuana
use during the past year, with an average frequency of 0.4 times
per month (SD 1.1). Wives were significantly less likely than
husbands to report marijuana use, and used significantly less
frequently (22.7% used at all, M0.2 times per month, SD 0.8;
p.001).
Hypothesis 1: More frequent marijuana use will predict more
frequent IPV perpetration.
Multilevel modeling results for husband to wife IPV are dis-
played in Table 2. We estimated the prediction of both husbands’
and wives’ IPV perpetration simultaneously in a multivariate mod-
el; however, we elected to present results for these two outcomes
separately because of table size limitations. Before adjusting for
covariates, neither husbands’ nor wives’ marijuana use signifi-
cantly predicted husbands’ frequency of IPV perpetration. After
adjusting for covariates, both husbands’ and wives’ more frequent
marijuana use predicted less frequent husband-to-wife IPV perpe-
tration (p.05). A 1 SD increase in husbands’ frequency of
marijuana use predicted 5% lower frequency of IPV perpetration,
and every 1 SD increase in wives’ frequency of use predicted 6%
lower frequency of perpetration. As displayed in Table 3, more
frequent marijuana use by husbands also predicted less frequent
IPV perpetration by wives, both before and after adjusting for
covariates (p.05). After adjusting for covariates, a 1 SD increase
in husbands’ marijuana use frequency predicted 8% fewer inci-
dents of wives’ past-year IPV perpetration. The association be-
tween wives’ frequency of marijuana use and wives’ IPV perpe-
tration was nonsignificant, both before and after adjusting for
covariates. Thus, Hypothesis 1 was not supported. We found that
more frequent marijuana use generally predicted less (rather than
more) frequent perpetration of IPV.
Hypothesis 2: Couples with concordant use patterns will be at
lower risk for IPV than couples with discordant use patterns.
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4SMITH ET AL.
We hypothesized that discordant marijuana use patterns (cou-
ples in which one spouse used more frequently than the other),
would predict IPV perpetration more strongly than concordant use
patterns (couples in which frequency of use was similar between
spouses). This was examined by testing interactions between hus-
bands’ and wives’ reported frequency of marijuana use (times per
month), in the prediction of IPV perpetration, and using simple
slope analyses to examine frequency of IPV perpetration at the
mean for one spouse and mean 3SD for the corresponding
spouse. Results from these moderation analyses are presented in
Table 2 (for husbands’ IPV perpetration) and Table 3 (for wives’
IPV perpetration).
Husbands’ and wives’ marijuana use significantly interacted to
predict husbands’ IPV perpetration [p.017 (Sidak-corrected
critical pvalue)]. This interaction is depicted in Figure 1. As the
frequency of wives’ marijuana use increased, the protective asso-
ciation between husbands’ marijuana use and IPV perpetration
became stronger, such that couples in which both spouses used
marijuana frequently were at the lowest risk for subsequent
husband-to-wife IPV.
Husbands’ and wives’ marijuana use also significantly inter-
acted to predict wives’ IPV perpetration (p.017). This interac-
tion is displayed in Figure 2. The interpretation is the same as that
for husbands’ IPV perpetration. The negative association between
wives’ marijuana use and their IPV perpetration was strongest
when husbands used marijuana frequently. Thus, the couples at
lowest risk for wife-to-husband IPV perpetration were those in
which both spouses used marijuana frequently. Overall, our second
hypothesis was partially supported. Couples in which both spouses
used marijuana frequently (i.e., the couple was concordant for use)
were at the lowest risk for IPV perpetration, which supported the
hypothesis. However, more frequent marijuana use by husbands
and wives predicted less frequent IPV perpetration, even when the
spouse used infrequently (i.e., the couple was discordant for use),
which did not support the hypothesis.
Hypothesis 3: More frequent marijuana use will be most
strongly associated with IPV perpetration among those at
greatest risk.
We predicted that marijuana use will be most strongly associ-
ated with IPV perpetration for the following groups: (a) those who
perpetrated IPV during the year before marriage, and (b) those
with high antisocial behavior scores. The results from these mod-
eration analyses are displayed in Table 2 (for husbands’ IPV
perpetration) and Table 3 (for wives’ IPV perpetration). Regarding
husbands’ IPV perpetration, neither interaction was statistically
significant (p.017). When predicting wives’ IPV perpetration,
Table 2
Unadjusted and Adjusted Predictive Associations Between Husband and Wife Marijuana Use and Husband Perpetrated IPV,
Including Interaction Effects
Model adjusted
for time only Fully adjusted model Fully adjusted model
with interactions
IRR (95% CI) IRR (95% CI) IRR (95% CI)
Intercept 3.09 (2.60, 3.67)
ⴱⴱⴱ
1.37 (1.11, 1.68)
ⴱⴱ
1.39 (1.13, 1.70)
ⴱⴱ
Time 0.88 (3.48, 3.67)
ⴱⴱⴱ
0.93 (0.89, 0.96)
ⴱⴱⴱ
0.92 (0.89, 0.96)
ⴱⴱⴱ
H income 0.89 (0.86, 0.93)
ⴱⴱⴱ
0.90 (0.86, 0.93)
ⴱⴱⴱ
H employment status NS NS
Employed full/part time ——
Unemployed ——
H alcohol dependence NS NS
H education
HS Ref. Ref.
HS 1.15 (1.04, 1.28)
ⴱⴱ
1.17 (1.05, 1.30)
ⴱⴱ
H age 0.99 (0.98, 1.00)
ⴱⴱ
0.98 (0.97, 0.99)
ⴱⴱ
H race
European American Ref. Ref.
Black 1.32 (1.09, 1.60)
ⴱⴱ
1.32 (1.09, 1.59)
ⴱⴱ
Other 0.92 (0.74, 1.15)
H frequency of marijuana use
a
0.97 (0.93, 1.01) 0.95 (0.91, 0.99)
0.94 (0.90, 0.99)
W frequency of marijuana use
a
0.97 (0.93, 1.01) 0.94 (0.90, 0.99)
1.02 (0.96, 1.08)
H antisocial behavior
a
1.14 (1.09, 1.20)
ⴱⴱⴱ
1.16 (1.11, 1.22)
ⴱⴱⴱ
H IPV perpetration at baseline
No Ref. Ref.
Yes 2.15 (1.88, 2.44)
ⴱⴱⴱ
2.16 (1.90, 2.46)
ⴱⴱⴱ
H marijuana use H antisocial behavior NS
H marijuana use W marijuana use 0.97 (0.94, 0.99)
ⴱⴱ
H marijuana use H baseline IPV perpetration NS
Note. Hhusband; W wife. NS nonsignificant, removed from final model. IRR Incidence rate ratio. For interaction terms, significance based
on a Sidak adjusted critical p-value of .017. Estimates were calculated using a generalized multivariate multilevel model, specifying a Poisson distribution
and log link function. Predictors of H and W IPV were assessed simultaneously in multivariate models; however, results are presented separately in Tables
2 and 3. All covariates were mean centered, with the exception of race.
a
Estimates based on standardized variable.
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
ⴱⴱⴱ
p.001.
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5
MARIJUANA USE AND INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
wives’ marijuana use frequency significantly interacted with both
their Wave 1 IPV perpetration and their antisocial behavior score. These
interactions are depicted in Figure 3 (Wave 1 IPV perpetration) and
Figure 4 (antisocial behavior). Wave 1 IPV perpetration moderated
the association, such that greater frequency of marijuana use was
inversely associated with IPV perpetration among women with
who did not commit IPV at Wave 1 (in the year before marriage),
but positively predicted perpetration among women who did per-
petrate IPV at Wave 1. When examining moderation by antisocial
behavior, results showed an inverse association between marijuana
use frequency and IPV perpetration regardless of antisocial behav-
ior, with the strongest association among those who scored low on
antisocial behavior. Thus, hypothesis 3 was only supported for
women, when considering moderation by Wave 1 IPV perpetra-
tion. Otherwise, more frequent marijuana use predicted less fre-
quent IPV perpetration.
Discussion
In this community sample of newly married couples, more
frequent marijuana use generally predicted less frequent IPV per-
petration, for both men and women, over the first 9 years of
marriage. Moderation analyses provided evidence that couples in
which both spouses used marijuana frequently were at the lowest
risk for IPV perpetration, regardless of the perpetrator’s gender.
There was one exception to this general pattern: wives’ marijuana
use predicted more frequent wife-to-husband IPV perpetration
among wives who had perpetrated IPV during the year before
marriage.
There has been little previous research on this topic with which
to compare these findings. Further, previous studies have been
conducted using widely varying samples and methods, making
cross-study comparisons difficult. For example, using data from a
nationally representative sample of adolescents, Reingle et al.
(2012) found that marijuana use during adolescence predicted IPV
perpetration during adulthood (10 years later). These findings
run contrary to the current investigation; however, this may be
entirely because of differences in sampling and methodologies. For
example, there was a substantially greater lapse of time between
surveys in Reingle et al. (10 years), compared with 1–3 years in the
current study, and marijuana use was measured in adolescence in
the Reingle et al. study versus young adulthood in this study.
There are several possible reasons why we may have observed
a protective association between marijuana use and IPV perpetra-
tion in the current investigation. Among experienced users, mari-
juana may enhance positive affect (Hart et al., 2010), which in turn
could reduce the likelihood of conflict and aggression. In addition,
previous research has found that chronic users exhibit blunted
emotional reaction to threat stimuli, which may also decrease the
Table 3
Adjusted Predictive Associations Between Husband and Wife Marijuana Use and Wife Perpetrated IPV, Including Interaction Effects
Model adjusted
for time only Fully adjusted model Fully adjusted model
with interactions
IRR (95% CI) IRR (95% CI) IRR (95% CI)
Intercept 4.13 (3.48, 4.90)
ⴱⴱⴱ
2.07 (1.67, 2.58)
ⴱⴱⴱ
1.96 (1.59, 2.42)
ⴱⴱⴱ
Time 0.86 (0.84, 0.89)
ⴱⴱⴱ
0.82 (0.79, 0.84)
ⴱⴱⴱ
0.85 (0.83, 0.96)
ⴱⴱⴱ
W income 1.05 (1.00, 1.10)
NS
W employment status
Employed full/part time
Unemployed Ref. Ref.
1.20 (1.09, 1.32)
ⴱⴱⴱ
1.15 (1.05, 1.26)
ⴱⴱ
W alcohol dependence NS NS
W Education
HS Ref. Ref.
HS 1.26 (1.13, 1.41)
ⴱⴱⴱ
1.30 (1.16, 1.44)
ⴱⴱⴱ
W age 0.98 (0.97, 0.99)
ⴱⴱ
0.98 (0.97, 0.99)
ⴱⴱ
W race
European American Ref. Ref.
Black 1.33 (1.10, 1.61)
ⴱⴱ
1.31 (1.08, 1.58)
ⴱⴱ
Other 1.10 (0.88, 1.37) 1.07 (0.86, 1.33)
W frequency of marijuana use
a
1.01 (0.97, 1.05) 1.03 (0.98, 1.07) 0.77 (0.66, 0.89)
ⴱⴱⴱ
H frequency of marijuana use
a
0.92 (0.88, 0.96)
ⴱⴱⴱ
0.92 (0.88, 0.96)
ⴱⴱⴱ
0.95 (0.91, 0.99)
W antisocial behavior
a
0.98 (0.94, 1.02) 0.98 (0.94, 1.03)
W IPV perpetration at baseline
No Ref. Ref.
Yes 2.26 (1.95, 2.62)
ⴱⴱⴱ
2.31 (1.99, 2.67)
ⴱⴱⴱ
W marijuana use W antisocial behavior 1.05 (1.02, 1.08)
ⴱⴱ
W marijuana use H marijuana use 0.96 (0.94, 0.98)
ⴱⴱ
W marijuana use W baseline IPV perpetration 1.39 (1.20,1.62)
ⴱⴱⴱ
Note. Hhusband, W wife. NS nonsignificant, removed from final model. IRR Incidence rate ratio. For interaction terms, significance based
on a Sidak adjusted critical p-value of .017. Estimates were calculated using a generalized multivariate multilevel model, specifying a Poisson distribution
and log link function. Predictors of H and W IPV were assessed simultaneously in multivariate models; however, results are presented separately in Tables
2 and 3. All covariates were mean centered, with the exception of race.
a
Estimates based on standardized variable.
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
ⴱⴱⴱ
p.001.
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This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
6SMITH ET AL.
likelihood of aggressive behavior (Gruber, Rogowska, &
Yurgelun-Todd, 2009). However, it should be noted that data were
not collected at the event-level, and we did not have information
on the context of marijuana use. As a result, while our study would
be consistent with this effect, it does not address it directly. The
fact that we found the strongest protective effect among couples in
which both spouses used marijuana frequently, is of interest. This,
too, may reflect an acute effect. However, it is possible that,
similar to a drinking partnership, couples who use marijuana
together may share similar values and social circles, and it is this
similarity that is responsible for reducing the likelihood of conflict.
These explanations are speculative, and further research is needed
to elucidate whether associations between marijuana use and IPV
perpetration are driven by cultural factors, relationship-dynamics,
altered affective responses, or other factors.
It is important to note that even “frequent” marijuana use in this
sample was relatively infrequent—participants reported a maxi-
mum usage of once per week. It is unclear how findings may have
differed in a sample in which marijuana use is more frequent (e.g.,
multiple times per week or day). More attention is also needed to
examine if and why marijuana use may be a risk factor for
continued IPV perpetration among women who act aggressively
toward their partners before marriage. One previous study found a
Figure 1. The interaction between husbands’ (H) and wives’ (W) mari-
juana use in the prediction of husbands’ IPV perpetration. Intercepts and
slopes were calculated using a generalized multivariate multilevel model,
specifying a Poisson distribution and log link function. Estimates were
adjusted for time, income, education, age, and race. All covariates were
mean centered. Infrequent marijuana use mean, frequent marijuana
use mean 3SD. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.
Figure 2. The interaction between husbands’ (H) and wives’ (W) mari-
juana use in the prediction of wives’ IPV perpetration. Intercepts and
slopes were calculated using a generalized multivariate multilevel model,
specifying a Poisson distribution and log link function. Estimates were
adjusted for time, employment status, education, age, race, the interaction
between wives’ marijuana use and wives’ antisocial behavior, and the
interaction between wives’ marijuana use and wives’ IPV perpetration at
Wave 1. All covariates were mean centered. Infrequent marijuana use
mean, frequent marijuana use mean 3SD. Error bars represent 95%
confidence intervals.
Figure 3. The interaction between wives’ marijuana use and whether
wives’ perpetrated IPV during the year before marriage in the prediction of
wives’ IPV perpetration. Intercepts and slopes were calculated using a
generalized multivariate multilevel model, specifying a Poisson distribu-
tion and log link function. Estimates were adjusted for time, employment
status, education, age, race, the interaction between husbands’ and wives’
marijuana use, and the interaction between wives’ marijuana use and
wives’ antisocial behavior. All covariates were mean centered. Infrequent
marijuana use mean, frequent marijuana use mean 3SD. Error bars
represent 95% confidence intervals.
Figure 4. The interaction between wives’ marijuana use frequency (MJ)
and antisocial behavior (AB) in the prediction of wives’ IPV perpetration.
Intercepts and slopes were calculated using a generalized multivariate
multilevel model, specifying a Poisson distribution and log link function.
Estimates were adjusted for time, employment status, education, age, race,
the interaction between husbands’ and wives’ marijuana use, and the
interaction between wives’ marijuana use and wives’ IPV perpetration at
Wave 1. All covariates were mean centered. Infrequent marijuana use
mean, frequent marijuana use mean 3SD. Low AB mean, High
AB mean 2SD. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.
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7
MARIJUANA USE AND INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
stronger association between marijuana use and IPV perpetration
among women than men (Smith et al., 2012). However, the study
was cross-sectional and did not examine prior IPV perpetration as
a moderator, making it difficult to draw conclusions about whether
findings from the current investigation are replicable.
Limitations
There were important limitations in this study, which should be
taken into account when interpreting findings. The measure of
marijuana use was based on a single frequency item. This measure
did not include other potentially important dimensions of use,
including abuse, dependence, withdrawal, or usual quantity. This
is potentially important given that previous studies have found
associations between marijuana abuse/dependence and IPV perpe-
tration, as well as marijuana withdrawal and IPV perpetration
(Smith, Homish, Leonard, & Collins, 2013; Smith et al., 2012).
Nevertheless, previous studies of marijuana use and aggression
have been based on a single frequency measure (e.g., Wei, Loeber,
& White, 2004; White et al., 1999). There are also limitations to
the generalizability of the findings as a result of sampling newly
married, heterosexual couples who were marrying for the first
time. It is unclear whether these results would be replicated in
same-sex couples, remarried couples, dating couples, or couples
who had been married for a longer time period. Furthermore, with
the trend toward marijuana decriminalization in the United States
and potentially more positive attitudes toward its use, more re-
search is needed to determine whether these results would hold in
a sample of current newlyweds.
Conclusions
Despite these limitations, this investigation utilized longitudinal
data collected over 9 years, from both members of the couples, and
is thus strong in methodology relative to existing research on this
topic. The finding that couples’ marijuana use generally predicted
less frequent IPV perpetration, and that couples in which both
spouses frequently used marijuana were at the lowest risk for IPV
perpetration, has potentially important public health implications.
However, replication and elaboration of this finding is needed
before drawing more substantive conclusions.
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9
MARIJUANA USE AND INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
... ons in assault and homicide rates. Additionally, Smith, Homish, Collins, Giovino, White, and Leonard (2014) at University of Buffalo sampled 634 couples in their first nine years of marriage who consumed marijuana. They found of the 634 couples tested, the more the couple smoked marijuana, the less likely they were to commit domestic violence acts (Smith et. al., 2014). The researchers also found the study supports the notion that marijuana does not increase aggressive conflict and it may actually decrease the instances (Smith et. al, 2014). Marijuana commonly "mellows out" its users where violent acts are not carried out; this would indicate the main source of crime is a direct result of drug traffic ...
... rs of marriage who consumed marijuana. They found of the 634 couples tested, the more the couple smoked marijuana, the less likely they were to commit domestic violence acts (Smith et. al., 2014). The researchers also found the study supports the notion that marijuana does not increase aggressive conflict and it may actually decrease the instances (Smith et. al, 2014). Marijuana commonly "mellows out" its users where violent acts are not carried out; this would indicate the main source of crime is a direct result of drug trafficking, not consumption. However, the crimes come from acquiring the drug and its suppliers. ...
... These effects were no longer significant after controlling for the impact of alcohol and tobacco use. Smith et al. (2014) found that male and female partners in couples in which both partners used marijuana reported less frequent intimate partner violence (IPV) than all others, suggesting a protective effect of concordant use relative to concordant nonuse or discrepant use. In a cross-sectional survey, Cunradi, Todd, and Mair (2015) considered the impact of concordant and discordant marijuana use, heavy drinking, and smoking on IPV in a telephone survey of a representative sample of California couples (N ϭ 2,000). ...
... The present study was designed to consider the impact of couple marijuana use discrepancy on relationship outcomes over 10 months in a sample of marijuana-using couples. Previous studies have relied on community samples in which few participants use marijuana, necessitating classification based on any use (Crane et al., 2016;Cunradi et al., 2015;Smith et al., 2014). Thus, a couple in which the woman used marijuana once and the man did not use at all would be classified as discordant whereas a couple in which the man used weekly but the woman used only once all year would be classified as concordant users. ...
Article
Intimate couples with discrepant use of alcohol and other drugs experience poorer relationship functioning relative to couples with concordant use or nonuse. Within a sample of marijuana-using couples, we hypothesized that greater discrepancy in marijuana use frequency between partners would be associated with lower relationship satisfaction and perceived partner responsiveness and with greater conflict, negative interpersonal exchange, and psychological and physical aggression. The Actor Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) allowed us to account for the effects of each partner’s marijuana use, as well as the discrepancy between partners’ use, on his or her own perceptions of relationship functioning. Using multivariate, two-level models, we considered both between-couple and within-couple effects of partner marijuana discrepancy using 4 waves of data collected over 10 months. The sample consisted of heterosexual community couples (ages 18–30) in which at least one partner reported using marijuana two or more times per week. For several outcome measures, we observed negative within-couple discrepancy effects on reports of relationship functioning: at time points when absolute discrepancy in marijuana use was greater than typical for the couple, relationship functioning was poorer. The pattern was the same regardless of whether it was the male or female partner who used more frequently. There were also some negative between-couple effects associated with more frequent female use. Findings replicate and extend prior research on partner discrepancy by demonstrating the dynamic nature of these effects over time.
... The correlates and consequences of substance use in relationships reflect the dynamic interplay between partners' individual vulnerabilities and motivations for substance use, whether and how substance use is reinforced in the relationship, and the degree to which partners resemble one another in their patterns of use (Rodriguez and Derrick, 2017). Although the literature on cannabis use and relationship functioning is in its infancy, the handful of extant studies highlights the interplay between affect and cannabis use in romantic relationships (Testa et al., 2019), as well as the need to take a dyadic perspective to understand the impact of cannabis use on relationship processes (Cunradi et al., 2015;Smith et al., 2014;Testa et al., 2018). For exam-ple, individuals are more likely to use cannabis on days where positive affect is lower relative to one's own average, and cannabis use is associated with increases in positive affect and decreases in hostile/anxious affect (Testa et al., 2019). ...
Article
Background Cannabis use is increasingly common, yet few studies have examined its associations with couple functioning. To address this gap, we used actor-partner interdependence modeling to examine the associations between cannabis use, relationship perceptions, and observed conflict behavior in a community-based sample of cannabis users and their partners. Methods Cannabis users (N = 232; 96 males; 122 females; 14 undisclosed biological sex) and their partners completed self-reports of cannabis frequency and global relationship satisfaction and commitment. At a laboratory visit, couples engaged in a 10 min conflict discussion and a 5 min discussion of areas of agreement, and reported on their post-conflict perceptions. Each partner’s parasympathetic activity was assessed during the conflict task, and trained raters coded conflict and recovery behavior Results More frequent actor cannabis use was associated with more negative engagement and avoidance behavior during conflict, less parasympathetic withdrawal during conflict, and less effective behavioral recovery immediately after conflict. More frequent cannabis use was also associated with greater satisfaction with conflict resolution following the conflict discussion, but was not associated with perceived overall relationship satisfaction or commitment. Cannabis effects were independent of alcohol use Conclusions Among cannabis users, there are discrepancies between perceived and objective measures of relationship functioning, such that cannabis users viewed their relationships as better functioning compared to independent raters’ reports. These findings highlight the need for a nuanced understanding of the associations between cannabis and relationship functioning, which appear to be distinct from alcohol, as well as an organizing theoretical framework to stimulate future research.
... For example, a meta-analysis found a small effect size (d=.22) for the association between marijuana and partner violence (Moore et al., 2008). A subsequent 9-year longitudinal study among a community-based sample of newlywed couples found that more frequent marijuana use was inversely related to IPV perpetration (Smith et al., 2014). Wives' marijuana use, however, predicted more frequent female-to-male IPV perpetration among wives who had perpetrated IPV prior to marriage. ...
Article
Despite evidence that most who perpetrate intimate partner violence (IPV) also report victimization, little is known about bidirectional IPV among Emergency Department (ED) patients and its association with problem drinking and marijuana use. We conducted an observational, cross-sectional survey among low- and moderate-acuity patients at a Northern California safety-net ED. Physical IPV was measured with the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS2). We recorded patient's frequency of intoxication and marijuana use. Spouse/partner's problem drinking and marijuana use were measured dichotomously. Odds Ratios [ORs] and 95% confidence intervals [CIs] were estimated using multinomial logistic regression models of unidirectional and bidirectional IPV. Among 1,037 patients (53% female), perpetration only, victimization only, and bidirectional IPV were reported by 3.8%, 6.2%, and 13.3% of the sample, respectively. Frequency of intoxication was associated with perpetration (OR 1.50; 95% CI 1.18 to 1.92) and bidirectional IPV (OR=1.34; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.58). Days of marijuana use were associated with bidirectional IPV (OR=1.15; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.28). Patients whose partners were problem drinkers were at risk for victimization (OR=2.56; 95% CI=1.38, 4.76) and bidirectional IPV (OR=1.97; 95% CI 1.18, 3.27). Among patients who reported any past-year IPV, most experienced bidirectional aggression. ED staff should consider asking patients who are married, cohabiting, or in a dating relationship about their experience with past-year IPV and inquire about their substance use patterns and those of their romantic partner, to share information about potential linkages. Medical and recreational marijuana legalization trends underscore the importance of further research on IPV and marijuana.
... and other drugs has positive consequences for relationship functioning (Homish & Leonard, 2007;Smith et al., 2014). For example, drinking together and similar amounts has been shown to increase short-term couple functioning (Levitt & Cooper, 2010) and long term satisfaction trajectories (Homish & Leonard, 2005). ...
Article
Although marijuana use has been linked to negative consequences for intimate relationships, an emerging literature suggests that under some circumstances it may have positive consequences. Couples who use substances together report better relationship functioning over time and may experience positive short-term outcomes. Using a sample of 183 heterosexual, frequent marijuana-using couples from the community, reporting over 30 consecutive days, we examined whether marijuana use episodes were associated temporally with reports of couple intimacy experiences within the next two hours. We used multilevel modeling, within an Actor Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) framework, modeling male and female outcomes simultaneously. Consistent with hypotheses, simultaneous marijuana use (male and female partners reported use at the same hour) increased the likelihood of an intimate experience for both men and women. However, we also found positive effects for Actor and Partner solo marijuana use on male and female reports of intimacy events. When analyses were limited to marijuana use episodes in which the respondent reported on presence of partner, we found that positive effects on intimate experiences were limited to marijuana use episodes in which partner was present; use without partner did not influence likelihood of intimacy. The robust positive effects of using marijuana with one's partner on intimacy events may serve to reinforce continued couple use and explain the positive effects of concordant substance use on relationship functioning over time.
... However, it is generally known that cannabis use is not linked to violence, rather the opposite is true. 37 Hence, presenting cannabis use as a physical danger seems to misrepresent substance users. Also, running away could be a sign of the researcher being feared or avoided rather than that the fleeing person was to be feared. ...
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When doing research among vulnerable populations, researchers are obliged to protect their subjects from harm. We will argue that traditional ethical guidelines are not sufficient to do this, since they mainly focus on direct harms that can occur: for example, issues around informed consent, fair recruitment and risk/harm analysis. However, research also entails indirect harms that remain largely unnoticed by research ethical committees and the research community. Indirect harms do not occur during data collection, but in the analysis of the data, and how the data is presented to the scientific and wider societal community. Highly stigmatized research subjects, like substance‐dependent parents, are especially at risk of encountering indirect harm, because the prejudice against them is so persistent. In this paper we discuss two forms of indirect harm. First, researchers have to be aware how their results will be preceived by society. Even when subjects are presented in an objective way, further, out of porportion stigmatization can occur. Researchers sometimes try to counteract this by whitewashing their results, at the risk of downplaying their respondents’ problems. The second risk researchers face is that their own normative judgements influence how they question such parents, report results and interpret statements. Researchers’ own normative judgements may influence the way they present their subjects. This article reviews a broad range of research that exhibits such indirect harms, discussing how and why indirect harms occur and formulating corresponding recommendations on how to prevent them.
... Reviews of the literature reveal a robust positive relationship between alcohol use and aggression (Foran and O'Leary, 2008;Stith et al., 2004;Tomlinson et al., 2016), and other evidence suggests similar associations between violence and methamphetamine use, cocaine use, and the use of the dissociative anesthetic phencyclidine (PCP) (Bey and Patel, 2007;Ernst et al., 2008). In contrast, the relationships between use of other psychoactive substances and aggression remain somewhat obscure; for example, studies of the association between cannabis use and aggression are inconclusive and vary according to type of violent behavior (Moore and Stuart, 2005;Smith et al., 2014;Walsh et al., 2017). With regard to hallucinogen use, findings are also equivocal with evidence of both risk and protective effects. ...
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Background: Recent evidence suggests that psychedelic use predicts reduced perpetration of intimate partner violence among men involved in the criminal justice system. However, the extent to which this association generalizes to community samples has not been examined, and potential mechanisms underlying this association have not been directly explored. Aims: The present study examined the association between lifetime psychedelic use and intimate partner violence among a community sample of men and women. The study also tested the extent to which the associations were mediated by improved emotion regulation. Methods: We surveyed 1266 community members aged 16-70 (mean age=22.78, standard deviation =7.71) using an online questionnaire that queried substance use, emotional regulation, and intimate partner violence. Respondents were coded as psychedelic users if they reported one or more instance of using lysergic acid diethylamide and/or psilocybin mushrooms in their lifetime. Results/outcomes: Males reporting any experience using lysergic acid diethylamide and/or psilocybin mushrooms had decreased odds of perpetrating physical violence against their current partner (odds ratio=0.42, p<0.05). Furthermore, our analyses revealed that male psychedelic users reported better emotion regulation when compared to males with no history of psychedelic use. Better emotion regulation mediated the relationship between psychedelic use and lower perpetration of intimate partner violence. This relationship did not extend to females within our sample. Conclusions/interpretation: These findings extend prior research showing a negative relationship between psychedelic use and intimate partner violence, and highlight the potential role of emotion regulation in this association.
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Interracial violence is a high-profile issue in the United States; however, there is little empirical research on interracial intimate partner violence (IPV). Interracial relationships are becoming more common. However, interracial couples continue to face stressors (e.g., discrimination) that likely impact the relationship (e.g., IPV) than their monoracial counterparts. Research indicates that military populations more likely oppose interracial marriages than nonmilitary counterparts. Yet, no study to date has investigated IPV within military monoracial and interracial couples. To understand the intersecting effects of race/ethnicity among military couples, this study investigates male perpetrated IPV in interracial and monoracial relationships. Using structural equation modeling, this study sample contains information about 449 male veterans from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (1994-2008): Waves I and IV. Findings indicate that (a) White and Black veterans are more violent in monoracial relationships, meanwhile, Latino veterans have a higher IPV prevalence in interracial relationships; (b) Black and White veterans were more likely to use alcohol and other drugs (AOD) after IPV perpetration in interracial relationships, in contrast to Latino veterans’ post IPV perpetrations AOD use in monoracial relationships; (c) veteran mental health status was affected after perpetration of IPV, similar to the effects experienced after combat. In an attempt to address the lack of research on the characteristics associated with interracial violence this study addresses the following questions: (a) Are veterans in interracial families more likely to commit IPV and use of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) than in monoracial families? (b) Among the military samples, is AOD a facilitator for IPV? (c) How does mental health status affect IPV perpetration?
Article
Introduction: As policies legalizing nonmedical marijuana have increased in states, understanding the implications of marijuana use among adolescents is increasingly important. This study uses nationally representative data to assess behavioral risk factors among students with different patterns of marijuana use. Methods: Data from the 2015 and 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, cross-sectional surveys conducted among a nationally representative sample of students in Grades 9-12 (n=30,389), were used to examine the association between self-reported current marijuana use status and self-report of 30 risk behaviors across 3 domains: substance use, injury/violence, and sexual health. Among current marijuana users, authors assessed differences between established (≥100 lifetime uses) and nonestablished (<100 uses) users. Multivariable models were used to calculate adjusted prevalence ratios. Data were analyzed in 2019. Results: Current marijuana users (regardless of use pattern) had a significantly greater likelihood of engaging in 27 of the 30 behaviors assessed across the 3 domains than the noncurrent users. Those with established use patterns (versus nonestablished) had a greater risk of lifetime use of most other substances (licit and illicit, including tobacco, alcohol, heroin, misuse of opioids), some injury/violence behaviors (including driving while using marijuana and suicide ideation and attempt), and sexual risk behaviors. Conclusions: Both established and nonestablished patterns of adolescent marijuana use are associated with a number of other risky behaviors. In addition to interventions focused on preventing youth initiation of marijuana, clinicians and public health professionals should consider interventions to help adolescents who have nonestablished use patterns to avoid continued, established use.
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Background: The estimated lifetime prevalence of physical or sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) is 30% among women worldwide. Understanding risk and protective factors is essential for designing effective prevention strategies. Objectives: To quantify the associations between prospective-longitudinal risk and protective factors and IPV and identify evidence gaps. Search methods: We conducted systematic searches in 16 databases including MEDLINE and PsycINFO from inception to June 2016. The study protocol is registered with PROSPERO (CRD42016039213). Selection criteria: We included published and unpublished studies available in English that prospectively analyzed any risk or protective factor(s) for self-reported IPV victimization among women and controlled for at least 1 other variable. Data collection and analysis: Three reviewers were involved in study screening. One reviewer extracted estimates of association and study characteristics from each study and 2 reviewers independently checked a random subset of extractions. We assessed study quality with the Cambridge Quality Checklists. When studies investigated the same risk or protective factor using similar measures, we computed pooled odds ratios (ORs) by using random-effects meta-analyses. We summarized heterogeneity with I2 and τ2. We synthesized all estimates of association, including those not meta-analyzed, by using harvest plots to illustrate evidence gaps and trends toward negative or positive associations. Main results: Of 18 608 studies identified, 60 were included and 35 meta-analyzed. Most studies were based in the United States. The strongest evidence for modifiable risk factors for IPV against women were unplanned pregnancy (OR = 1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.20, 1.31) and having parents with less than a high-school education (OR = 1.55; 95% CI = 1.10, 2.17). Being older (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.93, 0.98) or married (OR = 0.93; 95% CI = 0.87, 0.99) were protective. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first systematic, meta-analytic review of all risk and protective factors for IPV against women without location, time, or publication restrictions. Unplanned pregnancy and having parents with less than a high-school education, which may indicate lower socioeconomic status, were shown to be risk factors, and being older or married were protective. However, no prospective-longitudinal study investigated the associations between IPV against women and any community or structural factor outside the United States, and more studies investigated risk factors related to women as opposed to their partners. Public health implications. This review highlights that prospective evidence for perpetrator- and context-related risk and protective factors for women's experiences of IPV outside of the United States is lacking and urgently needed to inform global policy recommendations. The current evidence base of prospective studies suggests that, at least in the United States, education and sexual health interventions may be effective targets for preventing IPV against women, with young, unmarried women at greatest risk. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print May 17, 2018: e1-e11. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2018.304428).
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This article illustrates new statistical methods for the study of psychological change in married couples. The design involves time-series data on each partner. The analysis combines longitudinal methods for studies of individual change with cross-sectional methods for the study of matched pairs. Each person is viewed as changing over time as a function of an individual growth curve or change function. As in previous studies of individual change, a person's trajectory depends on time-invariant personal background characteristics and time-varying changes in the environment. However, unlike typical studies of individual change, a person's changing psychological profile depends, in part, on the influence of that person's partner. These methods apply directly to other types of longitudinal studies on families (e.g., studies that use teacher and parent reports of a child's social behavior). The methodology is flexible in allowing randomly missing data, varying spacing of time points, unbalanced designs, and time-varying and time-invariant covariates.
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This article describes a revised Conflict Tactics Scales (the CTS2) to measure psychological and physical attacks on a partner in a marital, cohabiting, or dating relationship; and also use of negotiation. The CTS2 has (a) additional items to enhance content validity and reliability; (b) revised wording to increase clarity and specificity; (c) better differentiation between minor and severe levels of each scale; (d) new scales to measure sexual coercion and physical injury; and (e) a new format to simplify administration and reduce response sets. Reliability ranges from .79 to .95. There is preliminary evidence of construct validity.
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This article illustrates new statistical methods for the study of psychological change in married couples. The design involves time-series data on each partner. The analysis combines longitudinal methods for studies of individual change with cross-sectional methods for the study of matched pairs. Each person is viewed as changing over time as a function of an individual growth curve or change function. As in previous studies of individual change, a person's trajectory depends on time-invariant personal background characteristics and time-varying changes in the environment. However, unlike typical studies of individual change, a person's changing psychological profile depends, in part, on the influence of that person's partner. These methods apply directly to other types of longitudinal studies on families (e.g., studies that use teacher and parent reports of a child's social behavior). The methodology is flexible in allowing randomly missing data, varying spacing of time points, unbalanced designs, and time-varying and time-invariant covariates. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Although contributing greatly to current criminological theory and research on crime and desistance, Sampson and Laub's theory of age-graded informal social control is limited in explaining gender differences in desistance. The authors addressed this limitation by comparing how adult institutions such as marriage, family, and employment affect illicit drug use for women compared with men. The authors analyzed logistic panel models with fixed effects using National Youth Survey data and found gender differences in the predictors of changes in illicit substance use. Although marriage reduced the odds of drug use for men, it was the importance or strength of a relationship that altered illicit drug use for women. The authors also found other gender differences regarding children and the emphasis placed on employment and family by respondents. This research adds to the existing literature on desistance and furthers knowledge about the gendered nature of Sampson and Laub's theory.
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This study explored the longitudinal associations of alcohol and marijuana use and violence over ages 11-20 in the youngest sample of males from the Pittsburgh Youth Study (N= 503). We examined trends in alcohol and marijuana use and violence, howthey covaried both concurrently and over time, and whether frequent substance use predicted violence and vice versa in multivariate models controlling for common risk factors. The analyses focused on frequent alcohol or marijuana users, those who scored in the highest 25% of frequency. Throughout adolescence, substance use was more prevalent than violence. Most substance users did not engage in violence, and the proportion of substance users who engaged in violence was smaller than the proportion of violent offenders who were also substance users. Concurrently, frequent use of alcohol and marijuana were both significantly associated with violence. Longitudinal associations between frequent drinking and violence were weak, whereas longitudinal associations between frequent marijuana use and violence were more consistent. However, the relationship between frequent marijuana use and violence (and vice versa) was spurious; itwas no longer significant when common risk factors such as race/ethnicity and hard drug use were controlled for. We conclude that the marijuana-violence relationship is due to selection effects whereby these behaviors tend to co-occur in certain individuals, not because one behavior causes the other; rather, both are influenced by shared risk factors and/or an underlying tendency toward deviance.
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Marijuana use and interpersonal violence are major public health problems. The present review examines the available empirical and theoretical literature on the relationship between marijuana and violence, including past theoretical models, the link between marijuana use and interpersonal violence (including intimate partner violence), and the relationship between marijuana withdrawal and violence. While results from laboratory-based studies are inconclusive, results of cross-sectional and longitudinal research provide support for an association between marijuana use/withdrawal and various types of violence. Given the lack of empirical support for existing models, a new biopsychosocial model of the marijuana–violence relationship is proposed. Examining methods to test this model and application of current findings to treatment are discussed.
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Development of research on intrafamily conflict and violence requires both conceptual clarity and measures of the concepts. The introduction to this paper therefore seeks to clarify and distinguish the concepts of "conflict," "conflict of interest," "hostility," and "violence." The main part of the paper describes the Conflict Tactics (CT) Scales. The CT Scales are designed to measure the use of Reasoning, Verbal Aggression, and Violence within the family. Information is presented on the following aspects of this instrument: theoretical rational, acceptability to respondents, scoring, factor structure, reliability, validity, and norms for a nationally representative sample of 2,143 couples.
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Background: Previous laboratory-based research suggests that withdrawal from marijuana may cause increased aggression. It is unclear whether this finding extends beyond the laboratory setting to the general population of marijuana users. The purpose of this study was to test a cross-sectional association between marijuana withdrawal symptoms and aggression among a representative sample of U.S. adult marijuana users, and to test whether this association was moderated by previous history of aggression. Methods: Data were analyzed from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Wave Two data (2004-2005) were used for all variables except for history of aggression, which was assessed during the Wave One interview (2001-2002). Two outcomes were examined: self-report general aggression and relationship aggression. Odds ratios for aggression based on withdrawal symptoms and the interaction between withdrawal symptoms and history of aggression were calculated using logistic regression, adjusting for covariates and accounting for the complex survey design. Results: Among marijuana users with a history of aggression, marijuana withdrawal was associated with approximately 60% higher odds of past year relationship aggression (p<0.05). There was no association between withdrawal symptoms and relationship aggression among those without a history of aggression, and no association with general aggression regardless of history of aggression. Conclusions: The findings from this study support the notion that laboratory-based increases in aggression due to marijuana withdrawal extend to the general population of marijuana users who have a previous history of aggression.
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The prospective effects of husband drinking, husband alcohol expectancies, and couple's marital-conflict style on husband alcohol-related aggression and severe violence in the 1st year of marriage were examined. Drinking predicted alcohol-related aggression, but husband's expectancy that alcohol causes aggression did not. Alcohol expectancies did predict severe violence in the marriage; however, the husband's belief that alcohol causes aggression was negatively related to the amount of severe violence. Alcohol expectancies interacted with marital conflict such that high amounts of severe violence were associated with men in high conflict marriages who did not have the expectancy that alcohol causes aggression. Additionally, in high conflict marriages, husband drinking was related to the amount of severe violence. Results are discussed in terms of alcohol-expectancy measures tapping general constructs of tolerance and attitudes toward antinormative behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study examined the relationship between alcohol consumption and marital aggression in a community sample ( N = 272) assessed in a longitudinal study at premarriage and at 6, 18, and 30 months of marriage. Participants completed self-report measures of alcohol problems and total alcohol consumption, aggressive personality style, marital aggression, marital adjustment, and divorce potential. Husbands' alcohol problems were associated with serious aggression at premarriage and at 6 months. Alcohol use interacted with aggressive personality traits in predicting aggression at 18 months. Husbands' premarital aggression, but not alcohol problems, was predictive of wives' future steps toward divorce and lower marital adjustment. Results are discussed in relation to the marital mediational model of alcohol and aggression in marriage and to the need to account for developmental changes in the relation between alcohol and aggression during the early years of marriage. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)