Anger, problematic alcohol use, and intimate partner violence victimisation and perpetration

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Abstract

Background

Anger and problematic alcohol use have been established as individual risk factors for intimate partner violence (IPV) victimisation and perpetration, but it is unknown how these factors convey risk for IPV perpetration for men and women within the context of mutually violent relationships.

Hypotheses

Anger and problematic alcohol use were hypothesised to mediate the association between IPV victimisation and perpetration for men and women, with direct and indirect influences from partner variables.

Methods

Heterosexual couples (N = 215) at high-risk for IPV completed questionnaires indexing trait anger, problematic alcohol use and extent of past-year IPV perpetration and victimisation. An actor-partner interdependence modelling (APIM) framework was used to evaluate these cross-sectional data for two hypothesised models and one parsimonious alternative.

Results

The best-fitting model indicated that IPV victimisation showed the strongest direct effect on physical IPV perpetration for both men and women. For women, but not men, the indirect effect of IPV victimisation on physical IPV perpetration through anger approached significance. For men, but not women, the victimisation–perpetration indirect effect through problematic drinking approached significance.

Implications for clinical practice

The results suggest that anger and problem drinking patterns play different yet important roles for men and women in mutually violent relationships. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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