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J Interpers Violence. 2003 Jul;18(7):735-43.

Does alcohol make a difference? Within-participants comparison of incidents of partner violence.

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Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo, 1021 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA.


Episodes of husband-to-wife violence in which the husband consumed alcohol were compared with episodes of husband-to-wife violence, reported by the same individuals, in which the husband was not drinking. Among this community sample of newlyweds, wife reports, but not husband reports, indicated that violent episodes in which the husband was drinking included more acts of violence and were more likely to involve severe violence. Both wife and husband reports indicated that wives were more likely to be physically aggressive in husband drinking episodes compared to sober episodes. However, whereas wives reported that their aggressive behavior was a response to husband aggression, husbands reported that wives were more likely to initiate violence in these episodes. Violent episodes that include alcohol may be more severe and more mutually violent than sober episodes. Discrepancies between husband and wife reports may reflect differences in recall or self-serving biases.

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