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J Stud Alcohol Suppl. 1993 Sep;11:96-108.

Alcohol and premarital aggression among newlywed couples.

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  • 1Research Institute on Addictions, Buffalo, New York 14203.


The present study examined the relationship between husband and wife alcohol use and premarital aggression, and evaluated a social learning model of alcohol and aggression that posited a moderating role for alcohol beliefs and aggressive motivations. Couples (age 18 to 29) entering their first marriage were approached after they had applied for a marriage license and interviewed concerning demographic factors and premarital aggression. These couples were recruited for the longitudinal study and given questionnaires assessing hostility, marital dissatisfaction, alcohol use and alcohol beliefs. Overall, 76% of the couples who agreed to participate returned the questionnaires. Husbands (n = 607) were approximately 24 years old, and wives were 1 year younger. Reflecting the urban setting, 72% were white and 24% were black. The results indicated a significant relationship between husband heavy alcohol use and premarital aggression. In addition, there were significant interactions between husband heavy alcohol use and marital dissatisfaction, and between husband heavy alcohol use, husband hostility and husband belief in alcohol as an excuse for aggression. These results suggested that alcohol use and premarital aggression are associated even in the absence of alcohol beliefs, but that the presence of appropriate beliefs strengthens the association.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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