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J Stud Alcohol. 2005 May;66(3):407-12.

Is there a relationship between victim and partner alcohol use during an intimate partner violence event? Findings from an urban emergency department study of abused women.

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Dallas Regional Campus, University of Texas School of Public Health, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, V8.112, Dallas, Texas 75390-9128, USA.



This study sought to identify factors associated with drinking during an intimate partner violence (IPV) event among abused women presenting to an urban emergency department (ED).


We use a cross-sectional study of IPV cases among adult female patients seen at an urban ED. Bivariate and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify substance use factors associated with an abused woman drinking while victimized or perpetrating IPV.


Among the 182 cases, an increased number of drinks per week, consuming five or more drinks per occasion, alcohol abuse and dependence, and illicit drug use were significantly associated with the abused woman's drinking while victimized or perpetrating IPV Partner's drinking five or more drinks per occasion was associated only with the woman's drinking while victimized. Partners were more likely to drink while perpetrating IPV in the relationship whether or not the woman drank while victimized. Among couples in which the abused woman also perpetrated violence, the partner's drinking more closely paralleled the woman's drinking in events perpetrated by the woman. Independent risk factors associated with the abused woman drinking during victimization included number of drinks she consumed per week (adjusted odds ratio [adj. OR] = 1.31 for every five drinks) and her illicit drug use (adj. OR = 4.3). The odds of an abused woman drinking while perpetrating IPV increased 1.4 times for every five drinks she consumed per week.


These findings suggest that alcohol-related behavior by both couples and individuals are important factors to consider in the relationship between IPV and alcohol use in this population.

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