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J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2011 Nov;72(6):933-42.

Test of a conceptual model of partner aggression among women entering substance use disorder treatment.

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  • 1Cincinnati VA Medical Center, PTSD and Anxiety Disorders Division, 1000 South Fort Thomas Avenue, Fort Thomas, Kentucky 41075, USA.



Despite extensive intimate partner violence (IPV) among women in substance use disorder treatment, few studies have investigated IPV risk factors within this population. Conceptual models, which have received support in other populations, propose that antisociality and generalized violence, alcohol and drug use, and relationship adjustment may be interrelated pathways that influence IPV. The purpose of this study was to test a conceptual model that integrates these individual and relationship pathways to explain IPV among women entering substance use disorder treatment.


Women entering substance use disorder treatment (N = 277) who had a male relationship partner completed measures of the following domains about themselves and their male partners: antisociality/generalized violence, heavy alcohol use, drug use, relationship adjustment, and psychological and physical IPV.


Structural equation modeling analyses showed that the antisociality/generalized violence of each partner had direct and indirect effects on IPV. Each partner's antisociality/generalized violence was directly related to her or his physical IPV. Female antisociality/ generalized violence was indirectly related to female physical IPV via female drug use and female psychological IPV. Male antisociality/generalized violence was indirectly associated with male physical IPV via male drinking, relationship adjustment, and male psychological IPV. A reciprocal relationship was found between partners' psychological IPV but not physical IPV. When accounting for other individual and relational IPV predictors, male partners' physical IPV influenced women's physical IPV, but women's physical IPV did not influence their male partner's physical IPV.


Both partners' antisociality/generalized violence, substance use, and overall relationship adjustment are important in understanding IPV among women entering substance use disorder treatment.

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