Characteristics of Adults Involved in Alcohol-Related Intimate Partner Violence: Results from a Nationally Representative Sample

Background: More than 12 million women and men are victims of partner violence each year. Although the health outcomes of partner violence have been well documented, we know very little about specific event-level characteristics that may provide implications for prevention and intervention of partner violence situations. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate substance abuse and dependence as risk factors for event-level alcohol-related intimate partner violence (IPV). Methods: Data were derived from Wave II of the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (2004-2005). Eligible participants (N = 2,255) reported IPV the year before the survey. Negative binomial and ordinal regression methods were used to assess risk factors for alcohol use during IPV. Results: Respondent PTSD was the only mental health diagnosis related to alcohol use during IPV (OR = 1.45). Marijuana use was related to respondents' use of alcohol during IPV (OR = 2.68). Respondents' meeting the criteria for alcohol abuse/dependence was strongly associated with respondent drinking (OR = 10.74) and partner drinking (OR = 2.89) during IPV. Conclusion: Results indicate that PTSD, marijuana use disorders, alcohol abuse and dependence are associated with more frequent alcohol use during IPV. In addition, it is important to consider that the patient who presents in emergency settings (e.g., hospitals or urgent care facilities) may not be immediately identifiable as the victim or the perpetrator of partner violence. Therefore, screening and intervention programs should probe to further assess the event-level characteristics of partner violence situations to ensure the correct service referrals are made to prevent partner violence.

Alcoholism, Intimate partner violence, Marijuana, Post-traumatic stress disorder
Partially funded by an American Cancer Society grant (MRSGT-12-114-10-CPPB) and The University of Texas School of Public Health.
CC-BY 4.0 (Attribution), ©2014 The Authors