According to a new study, the rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) among college students increase significantly with alcohol consumption. Todd M. Moore, Sara R. Elkins, James K. McNulty, Aaron J. Kivisto,and Vanessa A. Handsel, all of the University of Tennessee, compared the rates of IPV on drinking and non-drinking days in a sample of 184 college students. The participants were given a Palm Pilot to record their activities, episodes of violence, and number of alcoholic drinks consumed, over a two month period. The participants had been in relationships for an average of 19 months and they assessed their happiness using The Relationship Assessment Scale. Symptoms of depression, anxiety and PTSD were gauged using the depression subscale of the Brief Symptom Inventory, the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4 and the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist. The participants reported how many instances of IPV had occurred in the previous six months using the Revised Conﬂict Tactics Scale prior to the onset of the study.
At the end of the 60 days, the researchers discovered that 44% of the participants had been psychologically aggressive and over 15% had committed at least one physical act of assault. The researchers said, “Based on a total of 7,775 daily electronic diary reports, results showed that the odds of perpetrating psychological and physical aggression were 2.19 and 3.64 times greater, respectively, on drinking days relative to nondrinking days. Men evidenced 7.03 greater odds of engaging in psychological aggression on drinking days, whereas women had only 1.60 greater odds of engaging in psychological aggression on drinking relative to nondrinking days.” They added, “Accordingly, by making male college students, in particular, more aware of the danger that drinking poses on becoming violent toward their intimate partner, and thus, more aware of the beneﬁts of reducing alcohol use to prevent IPV, intervention and prevention programs may help some individuals and couples from becoming alcohol dependent.”
Moore, T. M., Elkins, S. R., McNulty, J. K., Kivisto, A. J., & Handsel, V. A. (2011, August 15). Alcohol Use and Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration Among College Students: Assessing the Temporal Association Using Electronic Diary Technology. Psychology of Violence. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0025077
© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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