Alcohol Consumption and Intimate Partner Violence by Alcoholic Men: Comparing Violent and Nonviolent Conflicts

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Alcoholic men and their relationship partners were interviewed about a conflict in which physical assault occurred and 1 in which psychological aggression occurred without physical assault. The interview assessed the quantity of alcohol consumed prior to each conflict, other drug use, and the topics, location, timing, duration, and speed of escalation for each conflict. The number of standard drinks consumed by the husband in the previous 12 hr was significantly higher prior to violent versus nonviolent conflicts for both self- and collateral reports, as was blood alcohol concentration estimated from self-report. Other drug use was not significantly different. Greater drinking by wives prior to violent conflicts was found in some analyses. These within-subject comparisons help to rule out individual difference explanations for the alcohol-violence association and indicate that alcohol consumption is a proximal risk factor for partner violence in alcoholic men.

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