Men's and Women's Alcohol Use, Mediating Factors, and Violence in Intimate Relationships

Lorraine Halinka Malcoe, University of New Mexico
Sarah E. Day, University of New Mexico
Kelly Damphousse, University of Oklahoma

Few studies have examined alcohol use of both partners in relation to intimate partner violence (IPV). This paper will assess the individual and joint effects of women's and men's alcohol use on patterns of IPV victimization and perpetration. In addition, we will examine individual and contextual factors that mediate the effects of alcohol use on IPV. In-person interviews were conducted with eligible women arrestees booked in the Oklahoma City/County Jail over 14 consecutive days during seven separate quarters of 2000-2002. Violence measures included the CTS2, a multi-item power-control scale, and a multi-item measure of motives for IPV. Past-year prevalence of IPV was high (67.6%). The most common (30.7%) pattern of IPV was relationships in which both men and women perpetrated severe IPV, although even in these relationships women were more likely to be severely injured. Mutual severe IPV was strongly associated with men's and women's problem drinking. In relationships in which neither partner was a problem drinker, rates of mutual severe IPV were relatively low (17% - 28%); however, rates of mutual severe IPV were considerably higher (57.4%) when both partners were problem drinkers.

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Updated 05/20/2006