Alcohol and domestic violence: Publications guide

Below are some abstracts from publications from the library collection. Please contact us for more information.

Ames, G. M., Cunradi, C. B., Duke, M., Todd, M., & Chen, M.-J. (2013). Contributions of Work Stressors, Alcohol, and Normative Beliefs to Partner Violence. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 74(2), 195–204.

Objective: A body of research has established that lower socioeconomic populations, including blue-collar workers, are at higher risk for problem drinking and intimate partner violence. This study of married/cohabiting construction workers and their spouses/partners describes how work stressors, hazardous drinking, and couple characteristics interact to influence normative beliefs around partner violence and, thereafter, its occurrence. Method: Our survey respondents from a sample of 502 dual-earner couples were asked about drinking patterns, past-year partner violence, normative beliefs about partner violence, work-related stressors, impulsivity, and childhood exposure to violence and other adverse events. We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with 81 workers on context of work stress, partner violence, and drinking. Results: Analyses of data revealed that men’s and women’s normative beliefs about partner violence were positively related to male-to-female partner violence; female partner violence normative beliefs were associated with female-to-male partner violence. Both partners’ levels of impulsivity were directly associated with male-to-female and female-to-male partner violence, and male partner’s frequency of intoxication mediated the association between level of impulsivity and male-to-female partner violence. Female partner’s adverse childhood experience was directly associated with male-to-female partner violence. Both survey and qualitative interviews identified individual and work-related factors that influence the occurrence of violence between men and women. Discussion: These findings provide guidelines for prevention of partner violence that can be implemented in the workplace with attention to hazardous drinking, job stress, treatment, education, and work culture.

Crane, C. A., & Easton, C. J. (2017). Integrated treatment options for male perpetrators of intimate partner violence. Drug and Alcohol Review, 36(1), 24–33.

Male‐to‐female intimate partner violence remains a worldwide public health issue with adverse physical and psychological consequences for victims, perpetrators and children. Personality disorders, addiction, trauma and mood symptoms are established risk factors for intimate partner violence perpetration and factor prominently into a recovery‐oriented treatment approach. We reviewed the partner violence literature for detailed reports of traditional as well as innovative, integrated treatment approaches. Empirically based recommendations for intervention programs and the policies that guide intervention efforts are offered. Nascent research suggests that integrated treatment models utilising a holistic approach to account for psychological comorbidity and interventions that involve a motivational interviewing component appear promising in terms of significantly improving intimate partner violence treatment compliance and reducing subsequent acts of physical partner violence. Further, methodologically rigorous research is required to fully assess the benefits of traditional and integrated treatment options. We have advanced several recommendations, including the development of and exclusive reliance upon empirically supported treatments, conducting a thorough risk and needs assessment of the offender and the immediate family to facilitate appropriate treatment referrals, integrating content to foster the offender’s internal motivation to change maladaptive behaviours, and attempting to minimise offender treatment burdens through the strategic use of integrated treatment models. Intimate partner violence is a complicated and nuanced problem that is perpetrated by a heterogeneous population and requires greater variability in integrated treatment options.

Crane, C. A., Schlauch, R. C., Hawes, S. W., Mandel, D. L., & Easton, C. J. (2014). Legal factors associated with change in alcohol use and partner violence among offenders. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 47(2), 151–159.

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a pervasive social concern that may be exacerbated by high rates of alcohol dependence among perpetrators. Society has attempted to combat IPV through various legal interventions, but the effects of specific legal factors on behavioural change and treatment compliance remain largely unexamined. The primary focus of the current study was to comprehensively evaluate the impact of various legal factors (i.e., judicial mandate, judicial monitoring, stage of change, and stake in conformity) on mandatory treatment compliance and behavioural change over a 12week post-adjudication period among a high-risk sample of alcohol dependent IPV offenders (N=60). Growth curve analyses revealed effects of judicial monitoring and stage of change such that participants reporting low perceived judicial monitoring and early stages of change reported higher initial levels and a more rapid reduction in IPV than those reporting high perceived judicial monitoring and late stages of change, who reported consistently low IPV. Although we found that legal factors were poor predictors of treatment compliance and alcohol use during treatment, the association between alcohol and IPV was moderated by the legal factors. Stake in conformity was negatively associated with IPV among low alcohol users and positively associated among high alcohol users whereas stage of change was negatively associated with IPV among high alcohol users. The current results suggest that pre-treatment legal factors may represent an important consideration in reducing IPV among alcohol dependent offenders. Further research is required to determine the efficacy of legal factors in isolation of treatment as well as methods of manipulating these factors to optimally compliment a prescribed course of treatment.

Cunradi, C., Mair, C., Todd, M., & Remer, L. (2012). Drinking Context and Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence from the California Community Health Study of Couples. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 73(5), 731–739

Objective: Couples in which one or both partners is a heavy or problem drinker are at elevated risk for intimate partner violence (IPV), yet little is known about the extent to which each partner’s drinking in different contexts (volume consumed per setting in bars, parties, at home, or in public places) increases the likelihood that partner aggression will occur. This study examined associations between the volume consumed in different settings by each partner and the occurrence and frequency of IPV. Method: We obtained a geographic sample of married or cohabiting couples residing in 50 medium to large California cities. Cross-sectional survey data were collected via confidential telephone interviews (60% response rate). Logistic and negative binomial regression analyses were based on 1,585 couples who provided information about past-12-month IPV, drinking contexts (number of times attended, proportion of drinking occasions when attended, average number of drinks), frequency of intoxication, and psychosocial and demographic factors. Drinking context–IPV associations for each partner were adjusted for the other partner’s volume for that context and other covariates. Results: Male partner’s volume per setting for bars and parks or public places was associated with the occurrence and frequency of male-to-female IPV and female-to-male IPV. Male’s volume per setting for quiet evening at home was associated with the occurrence of female-to-male IPV; female partner’s volume for this setting was associated with the frequency of male-to-female IPV and female-to-male IPV. Conclusions: Among couples in the general population, each partner’s drinking in certain contexts is an independent risk factor for the occurrence and frequency of partner aggression.

Kachadourian, L. K., Quigley, B. M., & Leonard, K. E. (2014). Alcohol Expectancies and Evaluations of Aggression in Alcohol-Related Intimate-Partner Verbal and Physical Aggression. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 75(5), 744–752.

Objective: Alcohol aggression expectancies have been found to be associated with increases in aggressive behaviour. However, research has not consistently examined evaluations of such behaviour. This is unfortunate as both expectancies and evaluations may play a role in whether such behaviour will occur. Given this, the current study cross-sectionally examined the associations between alcohol aggression expectancies, evaluations of alcohol-related aggression, indicators of excessive drinking, and alcohol-related verbal and physical aggression. Method: The sample consisted of 280 married and cohabiting couples. These couples reported on excessive drinking indicators, alcohol expectancies and evaluations, and alcohol-related verbal and physical aggression during the past year. Results: Findings showed that verbal aggression was positively associated with indicators of excessive drinking among females and with alcohol aggression expectancies for females who evaluated such aggression positively. For males, aggression expectancies and indicators of excessive drinking were positively associated with verbal aggression. For physical aggression, results showed that indicators of excessive drinking and aggression expectancies were associated with physical aggression for females. For males, aggression expectancies were positively associated and evaluations were negatively associated with physical aggression. Conclusions: These findings add to previous research on alcohol aggression expectancies in close relationships and emphasize the importance of considering evaluations of alcohol-related behaviour and how they may play a role in intimate-partner violence and aggression.

La Flair, L. N., Bradshaw, C. P., Storr, C. L., Green, K. M., Alvanzo, A. A. H., & Crum, R. M. (2012). Intimate Partner Violence and Patterns of Alcohol Abuse and Dependence Criteria among Women: A Latent Class Analysis. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 73(3), 351–360.

Objective: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major public health issue, yet little is known about the association between IPV victimization and problem drinking among women. Study objectives were to (a) identify subtypes of problem drinking among women according to abuse and dependence criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV); (b) examine the association between recent IPV and the problem drinking classes; and (c) evaluate major depressive disorder (MDD) as a mediator of the IPV-alcohol relationship. Method: Data come from a cohort of 11,782 female current drinkers participating in Wave 2 (2004–2005) of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Latent class analysis was used to group participants into problem drinking classes according to 11 DSM-IV abuse and dependence criteria. The IPV measure was derived from six questions regarding abusive behaviours perpetrated by a romantic partner in the past year. Past-year MDD was assessed according to DSM-IV criteria. Latent class regression was used to test the association between drinking class and IPV. Results: Three classes of problem drinkers were identified: Severe (Class 1: 1.9%; n= 224), moderate (Class 2: 14.2%; n= 1,676), and nonsymptomatic (Class 3: 83.9%; n= 9,882). Past-year IPV was associated with severe and moderate classes (severe: adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 5.70, 95% CI [3.70, 8.77]; moderate: aOR = 1.92, 95% CI [1.43, 2.57]). Past-year MDD was a possible mediator of the IPV–drinking class relationship. Conclusions: Results indicate a strong association between recent IPV and problem drinking class membership. This study offers preliminary evidence that programs aimed at preventing problem drinking among women should take IPV and MDD into consideration.

Murphy, C. M., Ting, L. A., Jordan, L. C., Musser, P. H., Winters, J. J., Poole, G. M., & Pitts, S. C. (2018). A randomized clinical trial of motivational enhancement therapy for alcohol problems in partner violent men. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 89(1), 11–19.

This study examined the efficacy of brief alcohol intervention in the context of community-based treatment for partner violence. In a randomized clinical trial, 228 partner-violent men with hazardous or problem drinking were recruited at three Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) treatment agencies and randomly assigned to receive one of two 4-session alcohol interventions: Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET: N = 110) or Alcohol Education (AE: N = 118). After completing alcohol intervention, participants received standard agency counselling services for IPV. Participants completed assessments of alcohol use, drug use, and IPV at pre-treatment, post-alcohol intervention, and quarterly follow-ups for 12 months. At the end of the 4-session alcohol intervention, MET participants displayed greater acknowledgment of problems with alcohol than AE participants (Partial ή2 = 0.039, p = 0.006). Significant changes from baseline across treatment conditions (at p < 0.001) were observed for percent days of alcohol abstinence [95% empirical CI for Partial ή2 =0.226, 0.296], heavy drinking [0.292, 0.349], illicit drug use [0.096, 0.156] and partner violence [0.282, 0.334]. No significant condition differences (treatment by time interactions) were found for alcohol abstinence [95% empirical CI for Partial ή2 = 0.007, 0.036], heavy drinking [0.016, 0.055], illicit drug use [0.005, 0.035] or partner violence [0.001, 0.004]. Results encourage continued use of brief alcohol interventions in community IPV services, but do not provide evidence of a unique benefit of MET in reducing alcohol use in this population.

Oberleitner, L. M. S., Mandel, D. L., & Easton, C. J. (2013). Treatment of co-occurring alcohol dependence and perpetration of intimate partner violence: The role of anger expression. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 45(3), 313–318.

The purpose of the current study was to examine the role of high self-reported anger on violence and substance use across treatment. Seventy-three, alcohol-dependent males, with a domestic violence arrest within the past year, completed baseline anger measures and engaged in a 12week cognitive behavioural therapy or 12 step facilitation group. Monthly assessments of substance use and violence were completed. At baseline, participants high on anger expression reported more physical violence in the prior month and more violent arrests. Participants high on anger expression had a greater proportion of positive breathalysers across treatment, higher frequency of reported drug use across treatment, and higher reported frequency of verbal violence at discharge. These findings suggests that participants who are high on anger expression may need longer-term or more intensive treatments to maintain gains made during treatment because of the increased risk of relapse to both substance use and violence.

Shorey, R. C., McNulty, J. K., Moore, T. M., & Stuart, G. L. (2017). Trait Anger and Partner-Specific Anger Management Moderate the Temporal Association Between Alcohol Use and Dating Violence. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78(2), 313–318.

Objective: Research demonstrates alcohol temporally precedes and increases the odds of violence between intimate partners. However, despite an extensive theoretical literature on factors that likely moderate the relationship between alcohol and dating violence, minimal empirical research has examined such moderators. Method: The purpose of the present study was to examine two potential moderators of this association: trait anger and partner-specific anger management. Undergraduate men (N = 67) who had consumed alcohol within the past month and were in current dating relationships completed a baseline assessment of their trait anger and partner-specific anger management skills and subsequently completed daily assessments of their alcohol use and violence perpetration (psychological, physical, and sexual) for up to 90 consecutive days. Results: Alcohol was significantly associated with increased odds of physical aggression among men with relatively high but not low trait anger and partner-specific anger management deficits. In contrast, alcohol was significantly associated with increased odds of sexual aggression among men with relatively low trait anger and partner-specific anger management deficits. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate important differences in the roles of acute intoxication and anger management in the risk of physical aggression and sexual dating violence. Interventions for dating violence may benefit from targeting both alcohol and adaptive anger management skills.

Testa, M., Kubiak, A., Quigley, B. M., Houston, R. J., Derrick, J. L., Levitt, A. … Leonard, K. E. (2012). Husband and Wife Alcohol Use as Independent or Interactive Predictors of Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 73(2), 268–276.

Objective: Men’s heavy drinking has been established as a risk factor for their perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV); however, the role of women’s drinking in their perpetration of IPV is less clear. The current study examined the relative strength of husbands’ and wives’ alcohol use and alcohol dependence symptoms on the occurrence and frequency of husbands’ and wives’ IPV perpetration. Method: Married and cohabiting community couples (N= 280) were identified and recruited according to their classification in one of four drinking groups: heavy episodic drinking occurred in both partners (n= 79), the husband only (n= 80), the wife only (n= 41), and neither (n= 80). Husband and wife alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence symptoms, and IPV perpetration were assessed independently for both partners. Results: Husband and wife consumption and alcohol dependence symptoms contributed to the likelihood and frequency of husband IPV, both independently and interactively. Husband, but not wife, alcohol dependence symptoms contributed to the occurrence of any wife IPV, although both partners’ alcohol dependence symptoms predicted the frequency of wife aggression. Couples with discrepant drinking were not more likely to perpetrate IPV. Conclusions: Findings for husband IPV support previous research identifying alcohol use of both partners as a predictor. However, for wives, alcohol appears to play less of a role in IPV perpetration, perhaps reflecting that women experience less inhibition against physical aggression in their intimate relationships than do men.

Walker, K. (2017). The role of alcohol as men desist from physical intimate partner violence. Drug and Alcohol Review, 36(1), 134–142.

Although researchers have examined the relationship between alcohol and perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV), little research has examined the role of alcohol within the process of desistance from IPV, which was the aim of this study. A mixed‐methods approach was taken as both psychometric test and interview data were analysed. Scores on the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory III alcohol dependence subscale of 37 men deemed to have desisted from IPV, 50 deemed to be persisting with IPV and 49 non‐violent controls were compared. In addition, data about alcohol use from interviews with 13 desisters, 9 persisters, 9 IPV intervention facilitators and 7 female survivors were analysed using thematic analysis to understand the role of alcohol in IPV desistance and persistence. No differences were found between the groups’ self‐reported alcohol dependence based on their Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory III scores. However, analysis of the interview data revealed that compared with persisters, desisters reported having changed their attitudes towards alcohol and their consumption of it in order to facilitate their cessation of violence. Static measures of alcohol dependence need to be used with caution if looking to identify progress with desistance from IPV. For individuals for whom alcohol played a role in their IPV, changing attitudes and their use of alcohol were described as being important in the process of desistance. Self‐reported attitudes and alcohol use could therefore be used to identify men who are making progress in the process of desistance from IPV.

Wilson, I. M., Graham, K., & Taft, A. (2017). Living the cycle of drinking and violence: A qualitative study of women’s experience of alcohol‐related intimate partner violence. Drug and Alcohol Review, 36(1), 115–124.

Heavy and binge drinking contributes to increased risk and severity of violence in intimate relationships, but its role in the initiation and escalation of intimate partner violence (IPV) is not well‐understood. This study explores the dynamics of drinking and IPV from the perspectives of women with lived experience of alcohol‐related IPV. A qualitative constructivist grounded theory study using interviews with 18 women aged 18–50 years who experienced fear or harm from an alcohol‐affected male partner. Participants were recruited from the community in Victoria, Australia. Participants experienced alcohol‐related IPV as a cycle of escalating violence accompanying the male partner’s progression to intoxication as follows: starting to drink (having fun); getting drunk (looking for a fight); intoxicated (‘switching’ to escalated violence); drunk (becoming incapacitated); hungover/coming down (becoming mean‐tempered); sober (returning to ‘normal’ life); and craving (building up to drinking again — for dependent drinkers). Participants identified safe and unsafe stages in the cycle but feared the unpredictability of drunken violence. Participants actively managed safety through four main strategies: preventing (e.g. limiting his drinking); predicting (e.g. recognising signs); responding (e.g. avoiding arguments); and protecting (e.g. removing self and children). Anticipating abuse when a partner drinks was the central process for participants living this cycle. For some women, alcohol plays a central role in the cycle of violence, abuse and fear. Alcohol‐related intimate partner violence should be the focus of further research, prevention and treatment.

Wilson, S. R., Rodda, S., Lubman, D. I., Manning, V., & Yap, M. B. H. (2017). How online counselling can support partners of individuals with problem alcohol or other drug use. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 78(1), 56–62.

Problematic alcohol and other drug (AOD) use impacts partners heavily, with an increased risk of experiencing domestic violence, financial stressors, health problems and relationship challenges. However, partners often do not seek help or support due to a range of barriers (e.g., shame, stigma, practical constraints). Online counselling may facilitate help-seeking by overcoming many of these barriers, however research is needed to explore what motivates partners to contact online counselling services, their experiences and needs, and how partners can be best supported online.

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