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Hazardous Drinking and Relationship Violence Perpetration and Victimization in Women Arrested for Domestic Violence
Gregory L. Stuart, Todd M. Moore, Susan E. Ramsey, Christopher W. Kahler
Objective: Research has shown that women who perpetrate partner violence or are victims of partner violence are more likely than comparison groups to have alcohol problems. The present study represents the largest sample collected to date of women arrested for domestic violence and court referred to batterer intervention programs. The aim of this study is to compare hazardous and nonhazardous drinking women on violence perpetration and victimization and to examine whether group differences in these variables are attributable to women’s drinking, their general propensity for violence, their partners’ drinking, or a combination of these factors. Method: We recruited 103 women who were arrested for domestic violence and divided the sample into groups of hazardous drinkers (HD) and nonhazardous drinkers (NHD). We administered multiple measures of substance use and problems and assessed the women’s relationship aggression, use of general violence and their relationship partners’ substance use. Results: Relative to the NHD group, the HD group scored higher on violence perpetration (physical assault, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, injuries) and violence victimization (physical assault). In addition, the HD group scored higher than the NHD group on general violence perpetration and partner alcohol and drug problems. Results from regression analyses indicated that women’s drinking, women’s general violence, and partner drinking all contributed to some form of violence perpetration or victimization; women’s hazardous drinking group status was particularly important in the prediction of physical assault perpetration and victimization. Conclusions: The results of the study suggest that substance use and problems should be assessed routinely as part of violence intervention programs for women and that intervention programs would be improved by offering adjunct or integrated alcohol treatment. (J. Stud. Alcohol 65: 46-53, 2004)