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J Fam Violence. 2009 Feb;24(2):63-74.

Problem Drinking, Unemployment, and Intimate Partner Violence among a Sample of Construction Industry Workers and their Partners.

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  • 1Prevention Research Center, Pacific Institute for Research & Evaluation, 1995 University Avenue, Suite 450, Berkeley, CA 94704.


The purpose of this study is to determine the contribution of male unemployment and each partner's problem drinking to risk for male-to-female partner violence (MFPV) and female-to-male partner violence (FMPV) among a sample of construction industry workers and their spouses/partners. Participants in the sample (n=848 couples) completed cross-sectional health behavior surveys. Multivariate logistic regression models of MFPV and FMPV, with adjustment for demographic and psychosocial variables, were developed. Approximately 20% of couples reported MFPV, and 24% reported FMPV. Results indicated that couples in which the male was a problem drinker, and in which the male worker reported being currently unemployed, were at risk for MFPV. Number of months unemployed by the male worker was significantly associated with FMPV, but problem drinking was not associated with this outcome. Male and female impulsivity were significantly associated with risk for MFPV and FMPV, and the male's report of adverse childhood events was associated with increased likelihood of MFPV. There was no evidence for the effects of unemployment being moderated (exacerbated) by problem drinking. Workplace-based prevention efforts may be a feasible and important strategy to reduce problem drinking and partner violence among high-risk occupational groups.

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