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Although a high volume and frequency of drinking has been linked to an increase in violence toward a loved one, new research suggests that the context in which drinking occurs can play a role in violence against partners.
Researchers from the Prevention Research Center, California, and Arizona State University analyzed 1,585 couples from over 50 medium-to-large cities across California.
The study, published in the journal Addiction, required each individual to provide information regarding male-to-female and female-to-male intimate partner violence (IPV), drinking contexts and psychosocial and demographic factors.
Individuals were asked to provide information about their drinking volumes in six different contexts:
Results from the analysis revealed that men drinking at parties and bars away from home, and women drinking in parks and public places, were both linked to increased male-to-female partner violence.
Men who drank during quiet evenings at home were linked to increased female-to-male violence.
Additionally, it was found that higher frequency of drinking with friends at home was linked to decreased male-to-female and female-to-male partner violence.
Higher volumes of drinking with friends at home, however, was linked to increased male-to-female and female-to-male partner violence.
The study authors say:
"The analyses presented in this paper indicate that both frequency of drinking and excessive drinking in certain contexts are important predictors of context-specific patterns.
This more nuanced interpretation of the total volume results indicates a need to consider what occurs within drinking contexts, besides alcohol consumption, that might trigger partner aggression."
They note that from a prevention perspective, it is likely easier to encourage a partner to alter their choices regarding alcohol consumption in particular contexts, such as limiting opportunities to drink, rather than trying to influence the amount they drink once in those contexts.
The study authors point out that although the alcohol-IPV link is well-established, this study adds to existing research by using a "dose-response" model to distinguish the influence of each partner's frequency of drinking in specific venues, and the amount consumed in each context in relation to IPV.
"A better understanding of the social interactions that occur in certain environments, and subsequent behaviors, will contribute to understanding what aspects of environments might be amenable to change, and subsequent decreases in problem behaviors such as partner violence," they add.
"The ﬁndings, therefore, have critical implications for the prevention of alcohol-related IPV."
Medical News Today recently reported on a study which suggested that alcohol neither causes depression, nor prevents it.
Written by Honor Whiteman
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without the permission of Medical News Today.
Drinking context-speciﬁc associations between intimate partner violence and frequency and volume of alcohol consumption, published in the journal Addiction, 23 September 2013.
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