Associations of Substance Use Problems With Intimate Partner Violence for At-Risk Men in Long-Term Relationships

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Abstract

Associations of substance use problems in men—defined as a man's meeting at least 1 criterion of dependence on each of a number of substances by his mid-20s—with their perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) were examined in an at-risk community sample of 150 men in long-term relationships from their late adolescence to their late 20s. Men who had a problem with substances other than sedatives (especially cannabis and hallucinogens) committed more IPV than did men without such problems. Most of the men who had a problem with marijuana also had an alcohol problem, which explains why alcohol was found to have only an indirect association with IPV. The failure of previous alcohol-use studies to control for co-occurrence of alcohol and marijuana problems may explain the discrepancy with conclusions from past research that alcohol problems contribute directly to the perpetration of IPV.

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